TfL accused of failing to boost safety after cyclist's death

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Transport chiefs were today accused of ignoring a coroner’s call for safety improvements at a notorious junction where a cyclist was killed.

Transport for London’s plans for Camberwell Green fail to include any “protected space” for cyclists, resorting to bike logos painted on the road instead of segregated lanes.

Linked proposals from Southwark council enable traffic to continue making dangerous left turns across the path of cyclists at the junction where NHS physiotherapist Esther Hartsilver was fatally injured by a Co-op HGV as she rode to work at King’s College hospital.

It is the latest concern to be expressed about “woeful” schemes being proposed under Sadiq Khan, despite the Mayor’s election pledge to make the capital a “byword for cycling”.

Sarah Ormond-Walshe, the coroner who investigated Ms Hartsilver’s death in May 2015, had called on TfL and Southwark to work with the police to prevent further deaths at the junction of Denmark Hill and Orpheus Street. 

Ms Hartsilver’s family had written to the coroner to appeal for her death not to be in vain. In a report earlier this year, Ms Ormond-Walshe said: “The safety of cyclists (and other vulnerable road users) should continue to be a major consideration at this junction when the final decisions are made about the larger planned improvement of Camberwell.”

TfL is consulting on its proposed changes to Camberwell Green, which it claims will reduce collisions by 40 per cent, until September 3. Southwark approved £2.5 million of changes to roads under its control, south of the main junction, in June. Nicola Branch, co-organiser of Stop Killing Cyclists, said: “There are no measures for safer cycling there in any shape or form.

“It’s really awful. You could have safe lanes. You could protect cyclists from left turns. But there is absolutely nothing whatsoever.”

The group is to meet the Mayor’s cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman after expressing its concerns.

Southwark said it was making the entrance to Orpheus Street narrower, with a raised platform, to slow traffic. New signs will remind drivers to look out for cyclists.

Ian Wingfield, cabinet member for environment, said: “We took on board everything the coroner said following the death of Esther Hartsilver and, working with TfL, the council has looked at numerous scenarios for changing the layout around the Orpheus Street junction. Every change we looked at created a potentially even more dangerous situation further down the road at the busier junction with Coldharbour Lane.”

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