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Fears over Bethnal Green Road expressed 20 years before cyclist was killed there

PUBLISHED: 13:51 15 November 2012

Sofoklis Koustanas, who died in hospital after being hit by a truck while cycling in Bethnal Green Road

Sofoklis Koustanas, who died in hospital after being hit by a truck while cycling in Bethnal Green Road

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Fears over the safety of cyclists in Bethnal Green Road were expressed decades ago it has emerged after a rider died following a collision there.

Sofoklis Kostoulas, a 31-year-old dancer who performed in the Olympic Opening Ceremony, died in hospital last week, 8 days after the collision with a truck on his way to work on October 29.

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has now claimed that Bethnal Green Road has long been considered unsafe for cyclists.

LCC campaign officer Charlie Lloyd confirmed the organisation had expressed concerns to Tower Hamlets council over the safety of the road in the 1980s.

He added: “What happened a couple of weeks ago could have happened at any time in the last 20 years, and it’s a tragedy that it’s happened now.

“Cyclists who use the road have been worried for a long time that it’s a risky place to share the road with other traffic.”

A spokesperson from Tower Hamlets council confirmed it was in discussions with the police, and would consider further action after the inquest is completed.

Tributes have flooded in for Mr Koustalas of Roach Road, Bow, who came to London 18 months ago to pursue a career as a dancer.

A statement posted by his sisters and cousins read: “We would like to thank you all.

“Everybody that has come by or is staying with us during the visiting hours and everybody who’s expressing their interest and care in any way possible.

“Your positive thinking, your faith, your wishes and prayers and your support give strength to Sofoklis and us.”

The 61-year-old lorry driver was arrested at the scene, before being released on bail until February.

An inquest into Mr Koustalas’ death has been adjourned. Police are appealing for anyone with more information to call 0208 597 4874.


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