London to Brighton Bikeride for Smash EDO Street Party

A. Spannerinworks |
30.04.2009 12:30

Meet Sunday May 3, 9am at Ritzy Cinema, Brixton to leave at 9.30

A ride on quiet roads to Brighton accompanied by bike sound system, should take 5-6 hours.
have crash space arranged in Brighton but bring a sleeping bag and
maybe packed lunch for the ride.Some of us will ride back on tuesday,
some will get train on monday or tuesday.

A. Spannerinworks


the following

For Maria

30.04.2009 13:23


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A23 Handcross to Warninglid



Located in
Area 4
Scheme type
Programme of Major Schemes
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The Project

Please note that the ‘Targeted Programme of Improvement (TPI)’ is now known as the ‘Programme of Major Schemes’.

Highways Agency plans to improve the A23 Trunk Road between Handcross
and Warninglid, south of Crawley, in West Sussex. The proposed
improvements are broadly along the line of the existing A23 and draft
Orders and an Environmental Statement detailing the proposals were
published on 24th October 2008.

Key features of the scheme proposals now published are:

  • Approximately
    3.8km of dual three-lane carriageway to replace the existing dual
    two-lane carriageway between Handcross and Warninglid junctions located
    generally within the existing highway boundary. There will be no
    carriageway lighting or laybys  
  • Closure of direct local residential and commercial accesses and provision of alternative access routes to improve safety.   
  • Revised
    junctions at Handcross, Slaugham and Warninglid including relocation
    and improvement of the weighbridge site at Handcross. 
  • A two way service road from Warninglid to provide access to commercial and residential properties on the west side of the A23.
  • Footway and cycleway between Handcross and Warninglid.
  • Two lanes to be kept open in each direction during construction.
  • An estimated range forecast cost of £76 million to £105 million.

Recent Developments

scheme proposals were published in draft Orders under the Highways Act
in October and November 2008 and were open for comment and objection
until 23rd January 2009. An Environmental Statement which assesses the
environmental effects of the scheme and explains what we would do to
reduce these effects was also published and open for comment until 23rd
January. An Addendum to the Environmental Statement covering a
re-assessment of the affects of Noise and Vibration was published on
23rd March 2009 and is open for comment until 22nd May 2009. A Further
Addendum was published on 23rd April and is open for comment until 11th
June 2009.

The draft Orders and Environmental Statement can be
obtained from the Highways Agency, Major Projects (South), Federated
House, London Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SZ.  Public notices relating
to the Orders and the Inquiry can be found on the Publications
page. The Environmental Statement and the Addendums on Noise and
Vibration can be purchased from the Highways Agency’s Dorking Office
either on paper or on CD and are available to download from the link

150 letters and Emails were received in response to the publication of
the draft Orders including 16 alternative suggestions to the published
scheme. As a consequence it was announced on 30th January 2009 that a
Public Inquiry will be held. A Brochure outlining some of the
Alternatives received was published on 1st May 2009 and can be found on
the Publications
page. A second brochure with the remaining alternatives will be
published shortly when details of them have been agreed with the
individuals who suggested them. Comments on all the alternative
suggestions are invited as soon as possible and by 5th June 2009 at the
latest, to the Highways Agency’s office at Dorking.

The Public
Inquiry will be held before an independent Inspector, Mr Colin Tyrrell,
who has been appointed by the Secretaries of State on the nomination of
the Planning Inspectorate. The Inquiry will be held at Slaugham Manor
Training and Conference Centre, Slaugham, RH17 6AJ and will start at
10.00am on Tuesday 16th June 2009. A Pre-Inquiry Meeting to discuss
arrangements for the Public Inquiry was held by the Inspector on 21st
April 2009.

Subject to a satisfactory outcome from the Inquiry
we hope to start advanced mitigation works in the Summer of 2010 and
the main works in the Summer of 2011. The scheme will take about two
and a quarter years to build.

background information:


preferred route announcement:

contact details and map:

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Boris left at the lights

 16.04.09 by Buffalo Bill

The Mayor of London has announced that he will be asking the Government to change traffic laws so that cyclists can turn left at red lights. He hopes that this will cut the number of collisions between cyclists and HGVs. As you will know, if you are a regular reader of this blog, 3 women have been killed by collisions with lorries so far this year. I doubt that being able to turn left on red would have enabled any of the 3 to avoid the collisions that killed them.

Meryem Ozekman, killed at Elephant and Castle last week, was nowhere near a traffic light when she was run over. Rebecca Goosen, killed on Old Street, was almost certainly going straight on over the junction with Aldersgate Street, as her office was on Cowcross Street, so she is likely to have followed Clerkenwell Road at least to the St John Street junction.1 And Eilidh, killed at Notting Hill Gate, is known to have followed NHG all the way down to Shepherd’s Bush, and, in any case, is reported to have been on the right hand side of the lorry that killed her.

I think the Mayor’s proposal is worth pursuing, and I think the idea is a good one, but it’s too simplistic to see it as the answer. As Jack Thurston reported months ago,

City of London [Police] spot checks on HGVs [were] carried out on 30 September 2008 as part of the Europe-wide Operation Mermaid2, which is intended to step up levels of enforcement of road safety laws in relation to lorries. On this one day, 12 lorries were stopped randomly by City Police. Five of those lorries were involved in the construction work for the 2012 Olympics. All of the twelve lorries were breaking the law in at least one way. Repeat: a 100 per cent criminality rate among small random sample of HGVs on the streets of central London. The offences range included overweight loads (2 cases), mechanical breaches (5 cases), driver hours breaches (5 cases), mobile phone use while driving (2 cases), driving without insurance (2 cases) and no operator license (1 case).

We also know that 2 lorries involved in fatal collisions with cyclists in the last 2 years were missing mirrors.3 Given that there is a new law on the books obliging all lorries registered since 2000 to fit more mirrors, and that a failure to see the cyclist by the driver must have been a factor in all 3 of the deaths mentioned above perhaps the Mayor ought to be making statements to the effect that the Met Traffic Unit will be doing a lot more random stops to make sure that these mirrors are actually fitted.

1 For more on these deaths see this Standard article.

2 More on Operation Mermaid, which is a cross-border operation aimed at taking dangerous lorries (and dangerous lorry drivers) off the road, see this story on the TISPOL website.

3 See Driver that killed Lisa Pontecorvo had removed mirror and Dead cyclist’s widow wins compensation.

Cyclist killed by collision with cement lorry, Old Street
Crossrail spoils plan to reduce lorry numbers
Dead cyclist’s widow wins compensation
Driver that killed Lisa Pontecorvo had removed mirror
Killer drivers’ sentences appealed
London’s couriers mark the street
Eilidh Memorial Ride Saturday 7th March
BJ wants to see cyclists fined £130 for cycling on the pavement
Drunk driver who killed cyclist has sentence halved on appeal
5 years since Seb was killed


  1. Agree with all of this. But you don’t say whether this left turn thing is a good idea or a bad idea.

    Putting aside the point that Boris should be doing other things that will help reduce lorry/cyclist collisions, do you think this left turn idea is good or bad?

    — Jack    Apr 16, 10:45 AM    #

  2. Sorry Bill. Just re-read the post and you do say you think it’s a good idea worth pursuing. Must pay more attention.

    But what about the point you made on Twatter earlier in the week about it encouraging cyclists to ride up the left side, on the inside and the dangerous side of lorries?

    — Jack    Apr 16, 10:47 AM    #

  3. Dunno. It seems likely that it will, but if combined with clear instructions not to get too close to either side of a lorry, then…

    — BIll    Apr 16, 11:09 AM    #

  4. I think the idea of a 10 second advantage for cyclists when the light turns from red to green would be a good idea, giving time to get ahead. Separate traffic lights for cyclists and resulting longer waits for motor traffic.

    — Jack    Apr 16, 02:42 PM    #

  5. ‘Tis a pity Boris wasn’t left in the womb.

    — overdrive    Apr 16, 06:13 PM    #























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We tried to save crash cyclist

09 April 2009
The junction where the tragedy happened
The junction where the tragedy happened
A CYCLIST crushed by a cement mixer today (Thursday) was the third woman rider to die in such circumstances in the Islington area in two years. 

The crash happened at the junction of Goswell Road and Old Street, Finsbury – described by workers as an accident blackspot – at about 9.20am.

The full 32-tonne cement mixer had been attempting to turn left into Goswell Road when the cyclist, a woman in her 30s, was caught on the inside.

Paramedics and firefighters tried to save her, but she was pronounced dead at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Dilek Kocak, 34, the manager at Costa Coffee in Old Street, tried to help the woman as she lay trapped under the back wheels of the lorry.

Ms Kocak said: "She was trying to talk but I couldn’t really hear her. Somebody was holding her hand. Another person was taking her pulse. I felt really helpless. I am a nurse, and there was an off-duty doctor on the scene, but we had no equipment and could not do anything.

"The lorry had a warning sound saying ‘turning left, turning left’ that was still going off. But maybe she didn’t hear it – it’s so noisy here. Her bike was crushed."

A receptionist in Goswell Road also went out in an attempt to administer first aid. The 44-year-old said: "I was only there a couple of minutes before the paramedics turned up. She was extremely badly injured. The driver was distraught."

Firefighters from Clerkenwell fire station cut the bicycle away and managed to get the woman out.

An ambulance crew then took her to the Royal London Hospital in a "serious condition". She was pronounced dead at 10.29am. The roads were closed until shortly before 12.30pm.

In September, community campaigner Lisa Pontecorvo, 64, was crushed as she wheeled her bike in front of a cement lorry in Holloway Road, Holloway.

And in December 2006, cyclist Emma Foa, 56, died after colliding with a left-turning cement mixer in Camley Street, King’s Cross.

Campaigners have long been trying to raise awareness of the dangers of passing left-turning trucks on the inside.

But workers around the Goswell Road-Old Street junction have also said that the crossroads itself needs to be made safer.

Mark Cox, 30, manager of Nusa Kitchen in Old Street, said: "There are lots of accidents here. Two weeks ago a motorcycle and a car collided as the car turned left and the bike went straight." 

The Goswell Road receptionist said: "Half the time the lights don’t work, and even when they do the pedestrian crossing lights sometimes don’t work. A few weeks ago, a lady stepped out and she was hit by a motorbike. She is still in hospital. It’s also dangerous for cyclists because it’s so busy."

Ms Kocak added: "This is the most dangerous junction in London. I have been here two years and I have seen or heard of something every other week."

Police investigating the crash arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. 

Anyone with information should call the Collision Investigation Unit at Euston Traffic Garage on 020 7321 9960.


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Mirror that could saved lorry victim was missing

26 March 2009
COMMUNITY campaigner Lisa Pontecorvo died after being crushed under
the wheels of a cement lorry – after a safety mirror that might have
saved her had been removed.

The driver has been charged with causing death by careless driving.

September Ms Pontecorvo, 64, was wheeling her bicycle in front of a
stationary cement mixer in Holloway Road, Holloway, when the lorry
moved off – crushing her to death.

The driver had been unable to
see the diminutive Ms Pontecorvo, of Thornhill Square, Islington, as
she was below the level of his windscreen.

But an inquest into
her death at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Monday heard that a week
before the accident, the mirror that would have alerted the driver to
Ms Pontecorvo’s presence had been removed.

Now it has been revealed that the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to charge the man, with a trial date yet to be fixed.

Sergeant David Hindmarsh, of the police collision investigation unit,
said: "The vehicle should have had a close proximity mirror fitted but
it was not. The mirror was damaged on the Thursday [before the tragedy]
and was removed by the driver. He did nothing about it. The summons
will have been issued by now. I would imagine it will go to Crown

Coroner Dr Andrew Reid explained how the mirror, which
should have been over the windscreen facing downwards, could have saved
Ms Pontecorvo’s life. He said: "It is a mirror to give the driver a
view of people who do not come up to the level of the window. I am
obliged to adjourn the inquest. When the prosecution is concluded I
will make a decision to resume. I have taken sufficient evidence that
the cause of death was multiple injuries."

Friends of Ms
Pontecorvo were outraged to hear of the developments. Emily Thornberry,
MP for Islington South and Finsbury, knew Ms Pontecorvo well and has
previously campaigned for lorries to have more mirrors. She said: "I am
totally shocked and appalled. It is the most dreadful waste of life. I
am almost speechless to hear that a lorry has been going around London
streets without a mirror required by law."

Councillor Rupert
Perry was another long-standing colleague of Ms Pontecorvo. He said:
"This shows Lisa died a totally unnecessary death. It is all very well
putting notices on the trucks saying ‘cyclists beware’, but if it was
not properly equipped it is a very bad reflection on the owners of the

The lorry, which was on the way from the Olympic site in east London, was owned by contractors Hanson.

Pontecorvo is the second cyclist to die in the Islington area after an
acident involving a Hanson cement mixer in recent years. Emma Foa died
in Camley Street, King’s Cross, in December 2006.

A spokesman
for the company said the truck was operated by a franchisee, adding:
"We have very clear health and safety regulations for trucks which we
expect drivers to adhere to. That includes these mirrors.

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Government publishes online map of cycling collisions

data collated represents a 12 month period, but it is unclear when this period is:

 presumably this period ended before 04/06/08.

[ufortunately] this map is not interactive.

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Cycle Girl

March 22, 2009 

They didn’t talk much in the morning in the flat in Kentish Town, north
London, that Eilidh Cairns shared with her friends. Who does? On the
bitterly cold morning of February 5, though, Eilidh told her sister, who was
staying, not to fret, that she looked good for a meeting but that she
“shouldn’t wear boots with that suit”. Eilidh lent her sister a cool pair of

She set off on her usual route of nearly 10 miles to her office in Chiswick, a
journey she often made with her boyfriend Giles as far as Connaught Street,
near Marble Arch, before they parted ways. She rode a “pretty damn cool”
Daniel Salmon fixie in metallic pastel shades and was a good cyclist.

A few months earlier Giles had forwarded her a piece on a courier webzine,
Moving Target, about HGV blind spots.

At Notting Hill Gate, Eilidh slowed at the pedestrian crossing outside
Waterstone’s, and there, at 8.58am, she got stuck on the driver’s side and
was dragged under the wheels of a tipper lorry. The fire brigade cut her
free and she was taken to the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel. At
10.59am she died.

The driver is on police bail pending the investigation.

Eilidh’s memory is very much alive, not just for her family and many friends,
but for anyone who passes the memorial that has sprung up on a traffic
island near where the collision happened: it includes a pair of bright pink
wheels, photographs, candles, memories and flowers.

On March 7, about 300 of her family, friends and fellow cyclists rode her
route to work in her memory, gathering at the traffic island.

I met Don Simpson, the investigating officer, as he trawled the shops for any
CCTV that might explain why a sensible and experienced cyclist was involved
in an accident of this nature. No witnesses to the collision have come
forward. HGVs are involved in more than 50% of London cycle deaths,
according to Transport for London.

Eilidh’s sister, Kate, said: “The government is trying to encourage everyone
to reduce their carbon emissions. Cyclists are doing their bit every time
they choose to get on their bikes. Instead of being made safe they are being
penalised. More to protect cyclists.”

Eilidh died at 30. She loved life-affirming activity: sailing, snowboarding
and, that simple pleasure more and more of us are discovering, cycling.

Witnesses can contact the police on 020 7388 6806, or Kate Cairns on


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