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A segregated cycle lane is set to be installed on London Bridge after a coroner who investigated the death of a cyclist called for safety improvements.

Transport for London expects to begin work next year to build a protected cycle superhighway across the bridge after British Council worker Christopher Tandy, 28, from Hackney, was killed by a speeding car.

This would be the sixth bridge across the Thames with space allocated to cyclists. There are already superhighways on Southwark, Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges – though the latter cycle lane is not segregated – and TfL is due to complete work on Blackfriars bridge early next year and on Westminster bridge by next summer.

Details emerged of the London bridge plans after the Ministry of Justice last week published a prevention of future deaths notice sent to TfL by City of London coroner Dr Roy Palmer.

Christopher Tandy

At an inquest last June [2015], the court was told that Mr Tandy, above, had been riding north across the bridge in the evening of August 2 last year [2014] when, “for unexplained reasons”, he veered across the carriageway and into a central kerb. This threw him off his bike and left him lying across the central reservation, with his head in the outside lane of the southbound carriageway.

A BMW car driven by a foreigner “unfamiliar with the roads in London” accelerated as it overtook a stopping bus and was estimated to have reached 38mph, despite the speed limit on the bridge having recently been reduced from 30mph to 20mph.

A collision investigator told the court that had the driver been driving at 30mph he would probably have been able to avoid hitting Mr Tandy. Had he been driving at the 20mph limit, he would “assuredly have avoided the collision”, Dr Palmer told TfL.

Mr Tandy, described by friends as “hugely talented”, had been drinking earlier in the day. This was found to be a ”contributory, but not a direct, cause” of death. A verdict of death by misadventure was recorded.
In his letter to TfL, Dr Palmer said that drivers stuck in slow-moving traffic through the City would be “tempted” to accelerate to an illegal speed across the bridge.

He warned TfL that there were no prominent road signs indicating the speed limit. “I suggest that some improved signage is desirable, to remind drivers that the speed limit on the bridge remains 20mph,” he said.

TfL last month opened a segregated lane on Vauxhall bridge. The London Bridge lane would form the northern part of cycle superhighway 4 to Woolwich, which is due to be completed by 2018.

Leon Daniels, TfL managing director of surface transport, told the Standard: “Following the tragic death of Christopher Tandy we have installed more 20mph signage at the north side of London Bridge to ensure all motorists are well aware of the speed limit. We are currently undertaking an assessment to determine whether any additional changes could be made to make the road layout safer for all.

“In the longer term, we are planning to make significant improvements and looking at the feasibility of a segregated lane for cyclists on London Bridge as part of our cycle Superhighways programme.”