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Cyclists to protest ‘dangerous’ Battersea Bridge conditions a month after woman’s death

The Met are still appealing for information  (London Cycling Campaign)
The Met are still appealing for information (London Cycling Campaign)

A “solemn cycle protest” has been planned to highlight the safety issues of Battersea Bridge one month after a cyclist died following a collision with a lorry.

A Metropolitan Police investigation is ongoing after a local woman, 27, died while cycling across the south London bridge - which does not have cycle lanes - just before 8am on August 10.

The lorry driver did not stop at the scene but was later questioned after officers found them in Fulham. There have been no arrests and police continue to appeal for information.

In the wake of the woman’s death, London Cycling Campaign’s Simon Munk told the Standard he was “bitterly disappointed” with Transport for London (TfL), local authorities and their scheme to improve safety on the bridge, which would not include installing cycle lanes.

The campaign group has planned a cycle protest on the evening of September 7 to rally against the “ongoing dangerous conditions on Battersea Bridge and in the surrounding area”.

LCC said in a statement: “We want rapid action, safe cycling and an end to the toll of serious and fatal collisions here from Transport for London, the Mayor, Wandsworth Council and Kensington and Chelsea Council.

“They have presided over delays and action in the area for decades despite the bridge and surrounds being infamous for dangerous and hostile cycling conditions.

“As a result, we’ve seen far too many horrific collisions on the bridge, at its junctions at each end and in the broader area. We want safe cycling here now – and we need an urgent look at conditions on both sides of the river and across the river across west London.”

LCC said a scheme to improve Battersea Bridge should have happened years ago. Issues were raised when marketing manager Jack Ryan was hit and killed by a Range Rover driver in Janury 2021.

But instead TfL have spent years “failing to deliver for Battersea Bridge and junctions at each end, arguing over details with councils on both sides of the river and faffing”, LCC claimed.

”Even if the proposed scheme had gone in before now, it is likely it would not have saved this woman’s life. The proposals include nothing on the bridge itself.”

On Thursday Battersea Labour councillor Maurice McLeod posted on social media that he met with TfL directors, council staff and councillors “to discuss making our roads safer for all”.

MP for Battersea Marsha de Cordova earlier this month wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Following the death of a cyclist on Batter Bridge this week I have written to TfL calling on them to take steps to improve the safety of cyclists that use the bridge.”

Between November and January 2023, TfL held a public consultation on proposals to make safety improvements to the Battersea Bridge area.

In June TfL announced plans to install  new pedestrian crossings, bus lanes, cycle signals and a section of protected cycle track, with work to begin in winter this year.

But in the consultation report, TfL said: “Unfortunately, due to the physical constraints of this listed structure, it is not possible to provide cycle lanes on Battersea Bridge.

“The priority is to ensure cyclists can safely navigate the junctions as this is where collisions are most likely to occur.”

Lilli Matson, TfL’s Chief Safety, Health and Environment Officer earlier told the Standard: “Any death or serious injury is completely unacceptable and we’re working with London Boroughs to do everything possible to eliminate it from London’s roads.”

In November 2021 a new pedestrian crossing, wider pavements and a new lower speed limit of 20mph were introduced on the north side of the bridge.

Mr Munk said if the bridge is too narrow for cycle lanes then a bus gate could be considered, or “levering out the edge of the bridge so that you can add on extra space for a cycle track and pavement”.

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call police on 020 8543 5157 or contact via Twitter @MetCC. Please quote CAD 1553/10Aug. To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.