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Boris Johnson backs cycle superhighways after fourth death on Tower Hamlets’ route

PUBLISHED: 14:12 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:38 07 November 2013

London Mayor Boris Johnson arrives on a bike to the launch of the cycle super highway in Stratford

London Mayor Boris Johnson arrives on a bike to the launch of the cycle super highway in Stratford

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Boris Johnson backed the capital’s cycle superhighways today in the face of tough scrutiny over their safety following the death of yet another cyclist in the capital yesterday.

Flowers at the location where a cyclist was killed on Mile End RoadFlowers at the location where a cyclist was killed on Mile End Road

Boris Johnson backed the capital’s cycle superhighways today in the face of tough scrutiny over their safety following the death of yet another cyclist in the capital yesterday.

The Mayor of London was in Stratford High Street today to launch the capital’s first segregated section of the blue Barclays cycle superhighway (CS) aimed at improving safety for cyclists by creating a raised barrier between them and other road users.

The unveiling came a day after a 63-year-old cyclist was killed while riding CS2 along Mile End Road, Tower Hamlets, becoming the fourth recorded fatality on that route and the ninth in the capital this year.

“One cyclist fatality is one too many,” said Mr Johnson.

Andrew Gilligan, cycling commissioner to the Mayor of LondonAndrew Gilligan, cycling commissioner to the Mayor of London

“We look very carefully at the circumstances of every one of them. It is too early to draw any conclusions of what happened last night.

“We listened to all criticism and we try to take these things into account. We try to improve them where we can.”

He added the number of cycling-related deaths has come down some way in the last 10 years even though the number of trips by bike has “massively increased” and claimed to be doing a “huge amount to make it even safer”.

A consultation into the exposed CS2 route is due to take place in Spring next year with the outcomes expected to be implemented around December 2014, said the Mayor’s cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan.

Boris Johnson salutes the waiting pressBoris Johnson salutes the waiting press

The new cycle superhighway, which runs between Bow, Tower Hamlets, and Stratford, Newham, will be followed by upgrades on existing routes including segregation and partial segregation — where rumble strips and cats eyes could be used in place of a physical divide.

Where these can’t be made, Mr Gilligan said the plan was to move them off the main road and onto quieter streets, with two cycle highways including CS1 and CS8 already earmarked to be moved.

Police enquiries into the circumstances of yesterday’s fatal collision are still ongoing.

They confirmed the lorry driver stopped at the scene and was to be interviewed by officers under caution, though no arrests have been made.

Melissa Stevens, 32, who lives adjacent to the scene of the incident, said: “The tent was up already and the bike was still there and it was quite badly crushed.

“The truck was pulled up by the bus stop further up the road.”

Anyone one saw the incident should contact the witness appeal line on 0208 597 4747.


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