Risk­ing lives for the inside track

UN­DER­TAK­ING CY­CLISTS IN­VOLVED IN A WOR­RY­ING NUM­BER OF CRASHES

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By ROB GRANT AND ALEXAN­DER BALLINGER ed­i­to­ri­aluxbridge@trin­i­tysouth.co.uk @GetWestLon­don

AL­MOST 70 cy­clists a year have been in­volved in crashes while un­der­tak­ing ve­hi­cles in west Lon­don since 2010, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the Depart­ment for Trans­port (DfT).

The statis­tics, taken from po­lice re­ports by the DfT, show that there were 417 col­li­sions in­volv­ing cy­clists pass­ing on the inside be­tween 2010 to 2015.

This av­er­ages around 69.5 per year in the area, with four of these in­ci­dents be­ing fa­tal – three in West­min­ster and one in Eal­ing.

West­min­ster was the west Lon­don bor­ough with the high­est num­ber of crashes with 163 dur­ing that five year pe­riod.

Hotspots in­clude Chiswick High Road and the A308 in Par­sons Green and Wal­ham Green.

The DfT fig­ures also show that more than half of recorded cases of cy­clist in­ci­dents in­volv­ing un­der­tak­ing.

Road safety cam­paign Think! has is­sued safety ad­vice to help pro­tect cy­clists.

A spokesman said: “We want to re­mind cy­clists to ‘hang back’ at junc­tions to avoid get­ting caught be­tween a lorry and a left hand turn.

“We have also teamed up with the Freight Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion to re­mind HGV driv­ers to look out for cy­clists.”

Cy­clists mov­ing through slow­mov­ing or sta­tion­ary traf­fic on the inside or out­side is called “fil­ter­ing” and there is no law or part of the High­way Code which bans the prac­tice.

Rule 160 of the High­way Code says: “[Driv­ers should] be aware of other road users, es­pe­cially cy­cles and mo­tor­cy­cles who may be fil­ter­ing through the traf­fic.”

The code shows there is a re­spon­si­bil­ity of driv­ers to be aware of their sur­round­ings and that the cy­clist is not in the wrong un­der­tak­ing traf­fic.

How­ever, pass­ing on the inside is dan­ger­ous as other ve­hi­cles may not take pre­cau­tions when pulling away.

Across the coun­try there were 2,823 ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing un­der­tak­ing cy­clists be­tween 2010 and 2015, and seven­teen of these were fa­tal.

DEPART­MENT OF TRANS­PORT STATIS­TICS

The ta­ble on the right shows by bor­ough the num­ber of recorded cases of cy­clists in­volved in un­der­tak­ing crashes be­tween 2010 and 2015

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

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