Boris’s greatest cycling achievement unveiled as he prepares to leave office: East-West superhighway opens tomorrow

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Boris Johnson’s flagship “Crossrail for bikes” cycle superhighway finally opens tomorrow [Wednesday May 3], Transport for London has confirmed, after a race to get it completed before the Mayor leaves office.

It comes as both Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith pledged to continue to build more segregated routes but without creating the same backlash from motorists or residents. 

The central section of the £47 million east-west route linking Westminster and Tower Hill was held up by delays at the junction with Blackfriars bridge. Workers also had to down tools for the London Marathon. However cyclists have been able to use sections of the route for several weeks by weaving past temporary barriers.

Mr Khan said he was “definitely” committed to more routes while Mr Goldmith said it was “not accurate” to say he wanted to rip some out. 

“I have every confidence they will work,” he told a London Cycling Campaign hustings. “I believe they will work.”

Plans to build the CS11 superhighway from Swiss Cottage to Oxford Circus via Regent’s Park were backed by a majority of respondents to a Transport for London consultation but attracted sizeable opposition in Hampstead and St John’s Wood. 

Mr Goldsmith said: “If TfL were to work with, rather than dump projects, on communities, we would be able to be so much more ambitious than we currently are.”

Tomorrow’s unveiling of the east-west superhighway follows the opening of the newly segregated and upgraded CS2 superhighway between Aldgate and Stratford last week. 

The North-South CS6 route was opened last Friday [April 29] between Elephant and Castle and Stonecutter Street in Clerkenwell, across a new segregated path on Blackfriars bridge. The route is planned to eventually reach King’s Cross.

Andrew Gilligan, Mr Johnson’s cycling commissioner, said: “Our superhighways will change how people get around, saving cyclists’ lives and taking thousands of Londoners off the roads and railways. It’s a huge moment for London.”

Royal Marsden responds to reported threat to children’s unit opened by William and Kate

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A children’s ’s cancer unit opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge five years ago was reported this week at being at risk of being axed.

The Royal Marsden hospital’s £18 million Oak centre in Sutton could lose out under plans to consolidate paediatric cancer services on one site in London.

An unpublished report commissioned by NHS England is said to favour Great Ormond Street hospital because emergency care can be provided less than a mile away at University College hospital.

By comparison, children being treated at the Marsden’s Sutton site have to be taken by ambulance to St George’s hospital in Tooting, about seven miles, away, if their condition suddenly deteriorates.

William, who followed his mother Diana in becoming patron of the Royal Marsden, and Kate opened the Oak centre in 2011 and backed its vision to become the leading paediatric cancer centre in Europe.

The cost of the 31-bed centre, designed to help 600 inpatients and 5,000 day patients a year, was funded entirely by private donations, including £3.5 million from the Teenage Cancer Trust.

It treats all types of cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma, solid tumours, as well as brain and spinal cord tumours, in patients aged from one to 24. Seven beds are reserved for patients on pioneering drug trials.

In a statement responding to the Guardian story, the Royal Marsden said:

The leaked review into children’s cancer care in London is an unpublished report which has not been officially shared with The Royal Marsden.

 There is robust data demonstrating that our service is safe and achieves tumour specific outcomes that are equal to or better than national and European averages. Patient experience audits undertaken independently (2015/16) show an average score of 97.6% of patients and families who would recommend The Royal Marsden’s paediatric oncology service.  

 The Royal Marsden is an internationally leading paediatric drug development centre with the highest level of patient recruitment to early phase paediatric studies in the UK, vital to improving survival for children and young adults. An expert European review panel ranked The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research first out of 40 centres in Europe in 2015 for the quality of its paediatric research.

The Royal Marsden and St George’s NHS Foundation Trust are designated as the joint principal treatment centre (PTC) of the South Thames Children’s and Young People’s Cancer Network. This is a shared care model which delivers safe, effective care to a high standard for children and young people with cancer providing comprehensive cancer care for children in South London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.  In 2011, the new Oak Centre for Children and Young People was officially opened by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and offers a high-quality service in a state-of-the art environment.

The Royal Marsden provides cancer diagnosis, treatment, and non-surgical cancer therapy with St George’s providing the paediatric specialist surgery and paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

 We work closely with the South Thames Retrieval Team and the St George’s PICU team to provide a safe transfer service which has been commended through external audit.  Of over 600 admissions of children and young adults to The Royal Marsden in 2015/16, 22 patients required transfer to St George’s PICU.  

 We are happy to consider the clinical evidence and affordability of proposed models to provide the best service and benefit for patients and their families.  However, given the high standard of performance of the cancer specific model at The Royal Marsden any recommendation for change must be based on clear clinical evidence.

24 Hours in A&E consultants vow to cover for striking junior doctors next week

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Consultants Himala De Zoysa, Polly Hughes and Ollie Minton

Consultants at the hospital featured in the 24 Hours in A&E TV series have launched a campaign to reassure patients that full emergency care will be provided during next week’s junior doctors’ strikes.

Senior medics at St George’s, in Tooting, set up a stall in the hospital foyer and published messages and a video on social media to allay fears about the impact of the two walkouts between 8am-5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Standard has learned that consultants at other London hospitals, including the Royal London, King’s College and Lewisham, will also provide full services across all urgent care departments. Many have cancelled days off or time reserved for admin to be present on the “shop floor” to support their junior colleagues.

Neel Bhanderi, an emergency consultant at St George’s, told the Standard that 19 consultants would be on duty at various stages next Tuesday to fill rota gaps. The hospital has about 60 juniors working in A&E.

He said: “We are fortunate to have 22 consultants, which is more than most places. People are coming in on their days off or are doing a 10-hour shift rather than an 8.5 or nine hour one. We all support the juniors who support the strike.

“We want to get the message out that if you are ill, still come to hospital. You are still going to get seen by senior people. It’s unprecedented the way the whole profession is united. That is something I have never seen before.”

St George's consultants 3

Consultants across the capital were today posting messages under the under the Twitter hashtag #consultantcover to reassure patients. Last night the 22 medical royal colleges urged Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to resume talks with the British Medical Association to enable next week’s action – the first ever withdrawal of emergency care in the history of the NHS – to be averted.

The previous four stoppages in the dispute over the imposition of “unsafe” new contracts did not involve junior doctors in A&E or in maternity.

Consultants on labour wards have also vowed to cover absent juniors to protect women and newborn babies. Polly Hughes, a consultant obstetrician at St George’s, posted a video on YouTube in which she said: “Next week, on 26 and 27 April, I and my colleagues will be giving emergency care for all our ladies in obstetrics at St George’s hospital, to make sure that all our women and all our babies continue to be safe.”

Thousands of elective, or planned, operations are likely to be postponed as a result of the strike, with  many outpatient clinics cancelled.

Ollie Minton, a consultant in palliative medicine at St George’s, said: “We want everyone to know the hospital is safe. You should come if you are unwell. You should come if it is an emergency. You should treat it as if it was any other day.”

Duncan Bew, clinical lead for trauma and emergency surgery at King’s College Hospital, in Denmark Hill, said: “We will be providing safe cover from the front line as we do every day as consultants in the acute specialities. It will be consultant-led and delivered care for all of our patients.”

Cycle superhighway route must be changed to reduce risk to RNIB visitors and staff, says David Blunkett

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  David Blunkett today led calls for a proposed cycle superhighway to be redirected away from the headquarters of the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

The former Labour cabinet minister was being joined by fellow blind peers Lord Holmes and Lord Low in supporting a plea from the RNIB for a rethink of the “dangerous” route of the northern section of the North-South superhighway between King’s Cross and Elephant and Castle.

Transport for London wants to take the replacing the traffic lights and pelican crossing near the RNIB offices in Judd Street with a large zebra crossing.

But the RNIB said this would place blind and partially sighted people in danger as cyclists were less likely to stop at a zebra crossing and could not be heard or seen as easily as cars.

It said at least two of its staff had been hit by cyclists who had jumped red lights at nearby Tavistock Place, where a segregated cycle route has been introduced by Camden council. An excerpt from its response to the TfL consultation is below:

RNIB submission to TfL

The RNIB building is visited by thousands of people with vision impairments each year and it employs many blind and partially sighted staff.

  
The RNIB wants the route redirected onto Cartwright Gardens or Belgrove Street.
Its call for a rethink was supported by the London Cycling Campaign, which suggested keeping the route on Farringdon Road.

Fazilet Hadi, director of engagement at RNIB, said: “Hundreds of people with sight loss come to RNIB each week as staff, volunteers and visitors. We are extremely concerned that the dramatic increase in the number of cyclists, combined with the removal of the pelican crossing, will put many blind and partially sighted people at risk of injury.

“TfL must not assume that all blind people are easily identifiable and that cyclists can spot them in advance. Many people with sight loss do not use a cane or have a guide dog.”

Isabelle Clement, director of the Wheels for Wellbeing cycling charity, said: “I’m shocked the RNIB were not properly consulted over the equality impact assessment. Judd Street needs a solution that works for everyone.”

Ashok Sinha, chief executive of London Cycling Campaign, said: “We want to create a safe environment for all road users, including the visually impaired.”

City Hall sources have previously indicated that the superhighway had to be diverted through Bloomsbury because Farringdon Road narrows near Mount Pleasant. The proposed route through Bloomsbury enables the cycle superhighway to link with the Tavistock Place east-west cycle route.

Nigel Hardy, head of sponsorship at surface transport for TfL, said: “We are currently studying all of the responses received in our consultation on the proposed extension of the North-South Cycle Superhighway, including those from the RNIB. We will assess all feedback on the proposals and publish a consultation report setting our how we propose to proceed later this year.”

Junior doctors launch ‘indefinite’ peaceful protest outside Department of Health

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Junior docs outside Department of Health

Empty chair: Dr Rachel Clarke and Dr Dagan Lonsdale wait for Jeremy Hunt outside the Department of Health

Junior doctors today began an “indefinite” peaceful protest outside the Department of Health in a bid to reopen talks with Jeremy Hunt and end the dispute over new contracts.

Dr Rachel Clarke and Dr Dagan Lonsdale began their protest at 10.30am and vowed to remain in place in Whitehall for 24 hours. They will be replaced for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, by colleagues also keen to force a breakthrough.

The action comes ahead of plans by the British Medical Association to withdraw emergency cover provided by junior doctors for the first time ever, between 8am and 5pm on April 26 and 27, in an escalation of the row over the imposition of “unsafe” new contracts this summer.

The junior doctors launched the protest after the Health Secretary said his door was “always open”. However the Government has refused to return to talks after a fourth walkout on two days last week.

Dr Clarke, who works in Oxford, said: “None of us can understand why Jeremy Hunt is burying his head in the sand and refusing to talk when an all-out strike is days away.
“Grassroots doctors are absolutely desperate. Dialogue is so obviously the only way to end this dispute. All of us have a duty here to put patients first and do everything possible to avert further strikes.

“The BMA wants to talk, so why on earth won’t Jeremy Hunt get back around the table? If patient safety really mattered to him, he’d be there already.”

Dr Lonsdale, an intensive care registrar at St George’s hospital, in Tooting, who was previously caught on TV trying to speak to Mr Hunt, said: “I am here because I have a duty to raise concerns about the safety of patients within the NHS.

“Political leaders should be working with the profession to solve problems and improve care, not simply bulldoze concerns into the dust. Doctors like me have dedicated our lives to providing safe and effective care for others. We have no interest in healthcare policy that is driven by soundbite electioneering.”

Ghost station tours: extra tickets released after soaring demand from visitors

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Down Street HIDDEN_TFL_395_original (2)

Down Street station

The number of places available for tours of disused Tube stations, including Churchill’s “secret station”, has been trebled after soaring public demand.

About 17,000 tickets will go on sale next week, allowing rare public access to Down Street, the Piccadilly line station used by the Cabinet during the Second World War.

There will be new tours of 55 Broadway, the former headquarters of London Underground that was the capital’s first skyscraper, and of the “lost tunnels” under Euston station.

There will also be the opportunity to visit the mile-long subterranean shelter at Clapham South station. One of eight wartime shelters, it provided safe refuge during the Blitz and was later used to house Caribbean migrants who arrived on SS Windrush in 1948, and thrifty visitors to the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Tours of Aldwych and Charing Cross, both unavailable this year due to planned refurbishment work, have previously sold out in 48 hours. London Transport Museum, which organises the Hidden London tours, has set up an online priority booking system to speed access to tickets when they go on sale next Wednesday (April 20).

200 20846 Down Street exterior July 1097 (2)

Down Street is located between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner stations and was closed in 1932 due to low passenger numbers. During the war, it was converted into the Railway Executive Committee’s bomb-proof bunker.

Churchill was provided with 1928 Perrier-Jouet champagne, brandy and Cuban cigars when he used it prior to the opening of the Cabinet War Rooms. Tours costing £75 will include tea from the nearby 5-star Athenaeum hotel.

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Down Street station

The “labyrinth of dark and deserted passageways” under Euston includes a gallery of poster fragments concealed for more than 50 years. The tour of 55 Broadway costs £27.50 and will show the Art Deco designs of the Grade 1-listed building, which is being converted into housing and offices.

Chris Nix, assistant director of collections at London Transport Museum, said: “Our visitors will have a rare opportunity to see a secret side of London and discover the amazing stories of the people who are connected to these hidden spaces.”

David Burns, assistant commercial director at London Transport Museum, said: “They are a great example of how a charity like London Transport Museum can use an entrepreneurial approach to raise funds to safeguard its transport heritage.”

Last year Transport for London began inviting bids to bring Down Street back to life as an art gallery or restaurant. Six other “ghost” stations were also to be marketed as part TfL’s plan to raise  generate £3.4 billion in revenue from its vast property portfolio.

* To register for advance booking, visit: www.ltmuseum.co.uk/enews

‘NHS did fabulous job at saving life of my seriously injured cyclist husband’

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John Smallwood before crash

John Smallwood on a training ride

The wife of a cyclist horrifically injured when a car turned across his path as he rode home today praised the NHS for a “fabulous job” in saving his life.

John Smallwood, 43, an exploration manager at a central London North Sea oil and gas company, was placed in an induced coma for three weeks after suffering head, face and spinal injuries and a bleed to the brain.

His treatment at St George’s hospital, Tooting, which included surgery to re-attach his nose and weeks in intensive care, will be shown at 9pm tonight [Weds] on the Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in A&E.

His wife Suki said he received “amazing” care. She told the Standard: “The NHS have done a fabulous job. There is a lot in the press in the moment, with people looking at the attitude of doctors, but I just think people work so hard.

“These guys did everything for us. John’s is a good news story. Having been in hospital for 16 weeks, I know there are a lot of stories that are not so great, but the doctors keep smiling, the nurses keep smiling and the people who clean the floors keep smiling.”

The collision happened last May. Mr Smallwood, father to three young children and a keen triathlete, was on a training ride on the A23 in Merstham, near his home in Surrey, when a young woman driver turned her Fiat Punto across his path without seeing him.

When Mr Smallwood, a Cambridge graduate, did not come round as expected from the induced coma, doctors realised his brain injuries were worse than expected.

Ten weeks in St George’s were followed by more than a month on a neuro-rehabilitation wing at Queen Mary’s hospital, Roehampton. His lawyer, Jill Greenfield, of Fieldfisher,  had to fight “tooth and nail” to secure an interim pay-out from the Fiat driver’s insurance firm to fund subsequent private rehabilitation to prevent the NHS care being in vain.

The driver, who the Smallwoods have asked not to name, pleaded guilty to careless driving and was banned for six months. She was said to be devastated by the crash and wrote to Mr Smallwood expressing her remorse.

John Smallwood in recovery

John Smallwood: recovering slowly and due to start a phased return to work

Mr Smallwood hopes to start a phased return to work in a few weeks, and is working to regain his balance to enable him to ride his mountain bike off-road.

“At the moment, he can’t organise his thoughts as effectively as he’d like,” Ms Smallwood said. “He’s lost feeling in the top half of his lip so can’t play his trombone and I would say when he’s talking, he’s more easily distracted than before and loses his thread.

“Hopefully he will visit his work in the next few weeks. In the meantime, the children, obviously, love having him at home. He’s working hard to regain his balance to be able to cycle off-road again.”

John Smallwood in hospital

John Smallwood in hospital, eight weeks after the collision

Ms Greenfield said: “The NHS contacted John on his release but obviously there was a waiting list to continue his treatment.

“Insurance companies owe it to people like John to offer quick recompense so that the brilliant work of the NHS can be continued in ongoing rehabilitative care it simply does not have the funds to pay for.

“This is exactly what insurance is for – which leaves the NHS to help others who do not have access to those funds through litigation.”

Tubes, buses and taxis: London Transport Museum is a winner with kids

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Martha museum 3

A London museum in school-half term? Sounds about as inviting as spending an hour in the ticket hall at Victoria station during rush hour.

That was certainly the case at the Science Museum last Friday. Hordes of off-duty school pupils and stressed parents made it not a great place to be with a two-year-old toddler. A soft play area, rumoured by other parents to exist, could not be found. The reality was that the museum’s exhibits were much too advanced for a child so young.

Martha museum 4

Come Saturday morning, however, and a visit to the London Transport Museum could not have been more of a contrast. There, the selection of vintage trains and buses was far more interactive. There were seats to clamber on, buttons to press and wheels to turn.

For children already playing with toy cars, buses and trains at home, or who enjoy travelling on the public transport network, as surely any true London child must get used to, the museum proved a great place to play and explore in safety.

Martha museum 2

There was also a much more chilled atmosphere, probably a legacy of it charging adults (£17) for admission. That said, though, the Science Museum forces all vistors to pass through a turnstile, where you are guilt-tripped into donating at least £5 a head.

Martha museum 1

The transport museum also had an excellent cafe, “picnic” grazing area and plenty of space for pram parking. The Science Museum also had a couple of cafes but they were mobbed and the overflow meant you had only stairs to sit on.

The admission to the transport museum allows access for a year. We will definitely return.

Statement from family after sentencing of lorry driver for causing death of cyclist Akis Kollaros

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Lorry driver Robert Taylor was jailed for 20 weeks after pleading guilty to causing the death by careless driving of cyclist Akis Kollaros (below) in Homerton in February 2015.

The Evening Standard online report of the proceedings at Wood Green Crown Court is here.

Akis Kollaros

Here is a statement issued by legal firm Leigh Day, which represented the family of Mr Kollaros, following the conclusion of the case:

“Lawyers for the family of a 34 year old cyclist who was killed after he was in collision with a tipper truck have said more must be done to protect cyclists as the driver of the tipper truck, Robert Taylor, was today sentenced to an immediate 20 week custodial sentence, half to be served in custody and half on licence, for causing the death of music producer, Akis Kollaros, as a result of careless driving. Mr Taylor was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Mr Kollaros, a Greek national working and living in London, was killed as he cycled to work. The collision with the tipper truck being driven by Robert Taylor occurred as Mr Taylor turned left into Homerton High St, East London without indicating.

On sentencing, the Judge, Noel Lucas QC said, “I want it clearly understood by those who drive vehicles of this type that they must take the greatest of care whilst driving in the streets of London to avoid precisely this type of accident.”

Mr Kollaros’ mother, Maria Kollarou, who flew from Greece for the hearing, said “Nothing can bring back the son I loved so dearly. I sincerely hope that lessons have been learnt from this tragic incident and that cycling on London’s roads will become safer as result of Akis’s death.   I wish to offer my support to people who have faced similar situations and hope that we can, together, find a way to ensure that such incidents do not occur again.”

Sally Moore, Partner at Leigh Day, specialists in cycling claims, who is representing the family of Mr Kollaros, commented, “Cycling should be a safe, healthy and environmentally sound means of transport; sadly the actions of a minority of drivers result in tragedies like this one.

“Akis was an experienced cyclist, a member of the British Cycling Association and London Dynamo Cycling Club. We will now be pursuing a civil action on behalf of Mrs Kollarou.”

Mr Kollaros graduated from the London College of Music and had set up his own studio producing albums by leading groups on the UK’s heavy metal scene. Friends called him, “An incredible man, immensely talented, unfailingly kind and generous” and added that he will be desperately missed by all who knew him.

Jo Lord, a close friend of Mr Kollaros, said, “Though Mr Taylor has accepted responsibility for the tragedy, we feel that local councils and the government also hold some responsibility for the death of our Akis. More should be done to protect cyclists and other vulnerable road users through revision and better consideration of routes, access and operational hours of HGVs, buses and other large vehicles in Central London, ensuring such vehicles are more responsibly and thoughtfully routed to suit their size, avoiding narrow streets and sharp turns like that of the Wardle Street/Homerton High Street junction.”

Lorry driver failed to see cyclist ‘who had done nothing wrong’

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A HGV driver who ran over a cyclist after swerving into his lane “got away with it” by escaping prosecution, the victim’s brother told an inquest.

Tauqir Butt told Southwark coroner’s court that he did not believe Frank Lunnon’s insistence that he had indicated before veering left into his brother’s lane as he drove round the Vauxhall Cross gyratory on June 2, 2014.

Tafsir Butt cyclist

Cyclist Tafsir Butt: “No evidence whatsoever of any fault or blame.”

Tafsir Butt, 52, above, a security guard who had been riding home after a night shift at a firm in Cannon Street, was pronounced dead at the scene in Parry Street before 7.30am, after suffering pelvic, chest and massive head injuries.

An off-duty Army doctor, an anaesthetist and a medic from a nearby nightclub attempted life-saving before London Ambulance Service advanced paramedic Pete Dalton and Dr Simon Walsh from London’s Air Ambulance arrived, but Mr Butt had gone into cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated. He was the sixth of 12 London cyclists to be killed in road collisions in 2014.

See here for the Evening Standard report from the time of the collision.

CCTV evidence from the lorry did not show whether or not the driver had indicated and there was no eye-witness evidence. Police decided there was insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.

At the inquest yesterday, Tauqir Butt, who was able to cross-examine Mr Lunnon, told the court: “I’m interested in the indicator. There was CCTV – did he indicate or not? I have lost my brother at the end of the day. He is not going to come back. Really, he [Mr Lunnon] has got away with nothing.”

Outside the court, Mr Butt told the Standard: “He got away with it. He was going straight across into my brother. I don’t think he indicated.”

His sister Shagufta said: “It’s sad that it didn’t get to court.” She said of her brother Tafsir, who “loved his bike”: “He had such zest for life. He was never miserable. That is what is so sad. He had so much love for other people.”

The court heard that Mr Butt, a divorcee living in Battersea, was struck from behind by the extra-large tipper truck, which had been removing spoil from construction sites at Battersea power station and Wandsworth Road and taking it to Rainham.

The collision happened in an unlit and dark tunnel under railway tracks. Mr Lunnon had overtaken Mr Butt 70m earlier as he rode on a partial cycle lane on South Lambeth Road. However the driver said he had not noticed the cyclist, who subsequently moved in front of the lorry as it slowed to 6mph in traffic as they followed the road right into Parry Street.The lorry was estimated by police to have been doing 19mph at the time of the collision.

The police investigation found Mr Butt would have been been in Mr Lunnon’s mirrors for a total of 2.6 seconds but had ridden into a blind spot. Mr Lunnon said he never saw the cyclist in front of him and thought he had hit a pothole. He stopped soon after the collision and saw Mr Butt lying fatally injured by the side of the road.

Mr Lunnon, 62, who has since retired as a lorry driver, broke down as he apologised in court. He insisted he had indicated, saying it was something he did “automatically”.

Mr Lunnon told Mr Butt: “You do it automatically. I know it sounds funny, but I have been driving for 40 years. You know where you are going to go. You automatically indicate.”

At the end of his evidence, he added: “I would like to say on behalf of myself that my deepest sympathies go out to the family. I know exactly what you are going through. I lost one of my brothers.”

Collision investigator, Acting Sergeant Andrew Osborne said it was “quite dark” in the 40m-long tunnel under the bridge. He said there was no cycle lane on that section of the road.

He said there was “clear evidence” that Mr Butt had been hit by the bumper on the front near-side of the lorry and went under the vehicle.

The collision activated a “smart witness” camera system within the lorry to record 30 seconds of footage, before and after the collision.

A/Sgt Osborne said broke the footage down into 10 segments as he analysed the paths of the cyclist and lorry for the court.

He said: “He [Mr Butt] was wearing dark clothing. Though he is there to be seen, the dark clothing doesn’t make much of a contrast against the road.

“At position eight, as they go into the tunnel, it’s starting to get dark. At position nine and 10, the contrast is very poor. He [Mr Butt] is barely visible.

“Overall, Mr Butt may have been visble for no more than 0.8 seconds in the first instance and then again for about 1.8 seconds as they borth turned into Parry Street.

“It appears to me that, prior to negotiating this bend, Mr Butt would very likely have been in a blind spot at that point. He wouldn’t have been able to be seen in the mirrors.

“Mr Butt has pedalled his bike past the lorry on the near-side. A he has positioned his bike in front of the lorry, he has stopped pedalling  and may therefore have lost some speed.”

He said the Highway Code advised cyclists to give lorries room: “Don’t ride in the space they need to get around the roundabout.”

Referring to the view from the lorry’s cab, A/Sgt Osborne said: “All you are seeing is, at best, a head and shoulders of Mr Butt.

“On top of that, you have to consider that Mr Butt was wearing a dark jacket and a dark woolly hat.

“Entering into a tunnel where the light changes, Mr Butt’s clothing being dark, he would have become hard to see at some points, if at all. At points nine and 10 he is very hard to distinguish at all.

“If Mr Butt had been wearing lighter clothing on a well-lit bicycle, that may have grabbed Mr Lunnon’s attention.”

The court was told that Mr Butt’s bike was fitted with bike lights but they were not switched on – probably because it was daylight outside the tunnel.

Assistant coroner Philip Barlow told A/Sgt Osborne: “These were technically daylight hours. There would have been no obligation on the cyclist to be using lights.”

The officer replied: “Yeah, technically.”

Mr Barlow recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

The coroner said: “The collision took place in daylight hours. There was poor visibility under the bridge where the collision occurred. That bridge was not lit. Mr Butt was wearing dark clothing. That may have made him harder to see.

“The vehicle was being driven well within the speed limit. The evidence suggests the bike was in the blind spot of the lorry, on the near side, just in front of the lorry’s cab.

“Mr Butt may have been partly visble from the cab for a fraction of a second, the evidence suggests 0.8 seconds. This was at a time the driver would have been appropriately doing many checks where doing the manoevre.

On the balance of probability, the lorry was indicating left when changing lane. It is absolutely relevant that the driver was a very experienced HGV driver. He knew the lorry and the road in question.

“There is no evidence whatsoever of any fault or blame on the part of Mr Butt himself. Mr Butt was hit by the front of the vehicle and tragically passed under the near-side wheel. Despite attempts to resuscitate from passers-by, Mr Butt died at the scene.

“This case shows yet again the difficulties and the dangers of roads used by cycles, cars and lorries. In this matter there is no evidence of fault on the part of either Mr Butt himself as a cyclist or the driver of the lorry. It shows the need for extreme care and every precaution for both cyclists and drivers.

“The point is that until traffic systems are safer, the sad reality, and it is a sad reality, is that it is really an issue that is left up to the cyclist to make themselves as clearly visible as possible. I think we all sewe the problems that that creates.”

Vauxhall Cross had since been remodelled by Transport for London, with the installation of a segregated cycle superhighway. Mr Barlow said this may be of some consolation to the family, but added: “We all know there are many other locations in which the risks for cyclists are extreme.”

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