WALTHAM FOREST: Cycling casualties hit five year high

First published in Waltham Forest East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

THE number of cyclists killed and injured on the roads of Waltham Forest reached a five-year high last year, new figures have revealed.

There were a total of 93 bicycle casualties in the borough in 2009, compared with 65 in 2008 - a rise of 43 per cent - according to the data from Transport for London (TfL).

It comes despite a fall in the number of pedestrians, motorcyclists and car drivers injured during the same period.

In 2008 there were 121 pedestrian casualties, 372 car occupant casualties and 69 motorbike casualties – all of which represent five year lows.

The data has not been broken down into how many of these casualties are fatalities.

Across the capital, the total numbers killed and seriously injured in traffic crashes has fallen on the year before.

Commenting on the London-wide figures, Ben Plowden, director of better route and places at TfL, said: “There were 20 fewer lives lost and 279 fewer serious injuries on London’s roads last year compared to 2008.

“This is great news, but road deaths and injuries are still devastating the lives of families and communities throughout London.

“TfL is directly investing £21.2 million this year in both new and proven ways of improving road safety in the Capital, in order to make London’s roads even safer.”

The figures only represent incidents reported to the police.

Do you feel safe cycling in Waltham Forest? Have you been injured on your bike? Contact reporter Daniel Binns on 0779 547 6625 or via email at dbinns@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (4)

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8:24pm Mon 21 Jun 10

Redbridge Bill says...

I entered this on the Redbridge pge, but I suspect that the same problems beset WF.

"Setting aside the lack of policing, poor lane discipline, speeding, non-use of indicators etc the problem I encounter most is traffic calming.
An unfortunate consequence of putting in more traffic islands (pedestrian refuges as the council now calls them) is that it creates a chicane.
Too many drivers try to squeeze past as you cycle thru' them. This is both dangerous and against the highway code.
Too prevent this from happening we are advised to take the middle of the lane but this relies on the driver behind you paying attention to the road and not his mobile phone.
And too often where the driver is alert they take offence at being delayed for one or two seconds and start a tantrum worthy of a royal toddler.
These chicanes exist across the borough so we cannot write off such behaviour as being an Ilford or a Woodford problem.
The long term answer is to take back space from on street parking and put in Dutch style cycle lanes. This would reduce both noise and particulate pollution and allow families to lead healthier life styles. It would probably up house prices too!"
I entered this on the Redbridge pge, but I suspect that the same problems beset WF. "Setting aside the lack of policing, poor lane discipline, speeding, non-use of indicators etc the problem I encounter most is traffic calming. An unfortunate consequence of putting in more traffic islands (pedestrian refuges as the council now calls them) is that it creates a chicane. Too many drivers try to squeeze past as you cycle thru' them. This is both dangerous and against the highway code. Too prevent this from happening we are advised to take the middle of the lane but this relies on the driver behind you paying attention to the road and not his mobile phone. And too often where the driver is alert they take offence at being delayed for one or two seconds and start a tantrum worthy of a royal toddler. These chicanes exist across the borough so we cannot write off such behaviour as being an Ilford or a Woodford problem. The long term answer is to take back space from on street parking and put in Dutch style cycle lanes. This would reduce both noise and particulate pollution and allow families to lead healthier life styles. It would probably up house prices too!" Redbridge Bill
  • Score: 0

12:45am Tue 22 Jun 10

hotredman says...

Not suprised.Many of the cyclists there ride like clowns all over the road and all over the place. Its like putting a 3 year old out to ride a bike. They just do not have any common sense at all
Not suprised.Many of the cyclists there ride like clowns all over the road and all over the place. Its like putting a 3 year old out to ride a bike. They just do not have any common sense at all hotredman
  • Score: 0

8:58am Tue 22 Jun 10

JonathanB says...

I'm not surprised. There are lots of idiot drivers in WF who speed and pay no attention to things like zebra crossings. Here in Higham Hill we have lots of young black men in BMW's who think stopping for pedestrians is beneath them. Which is worrying as three of the zebra crossings are used by kids going to school.
I'm not surprised. There are lots of idiot drivers in WF who speed and pay no attention to things like zebra crossings. Here in Higham Hill we have lots of young black men in BMW's who think stopping for pedestrians is beneath them. Which is worrying as three of the zebra crossings are used by kids going to school. JonathanB
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Tue 22 Jun 10

livedheretoolong says...

Redbridge Bill is right.
The traffic management policies implemented by Waltham Forest council create a hostile environment for anyone brave enough to cycle in the borough. A good example of this is in Markhouse Road. The cycle lane here is highly dangerous because unnecessarily large traffic islands stick out and reduce the width of the road so that if you are cycling in the bike lane there is not enough room for a vehicle to pass. A lot of drivers don't make allowances for this and it is nerve wracking for the cyclist to have to keep looking behind them when going past the traffic islands.
Generally speaking I feel a lot safer cycling around Woodford/South Woodford (belonging to LB Redbridge) probably because traffic is allowed to flow more freely. In Waltham Forest drivers are constantly frustrated in their efforts to get around which creates more aggression. I have already said before on another posting that it is quicker for me to drive from Leytonstone to Ilford on a Saturday morning to do my shopping (and a lot easier to park) rather than go to Walthamstow.
It is puzzling for me to understand why we have to put up with such a bad cycling infrastructure in Waltham Forest particularly when there is a full time dedicated 'cycling officer' post in the council and we also have an MP and cabinet councillor who cycle in the area. One wonders what they have to think about all this.
On the question of an increase of casualty statistics this could be an indication of more people taking up cycling. There will always be crazy cyclists flounting the law and jumping red lights, etc. just as there are many drivers in this borough doing likewise and talking on their mobile phones whilst driving. The simple fact is that cyclists are far more vulnerable so need to take extra care if they want to survive.
I have managed to survive as a cyclist for 30 years and the only 2 times I have been hit by cars was in Waltham Forest.
Redbridge Bill is right. The traffic management policies implemented by Waltham Forest council create a hostile environment for anyone brave enough to cycle in the borough. A good example of this is in Markhouse Road. The cycle lane here is highly dangerous because unnecessarily large traffic islands stick out and reduce the width of the road so that if you are cycling in the bike lane there is not enough room for a vehicle to pass. A lot of drivers don't make allowances for this and it is nerve wracking for the cyclist to have to keep looking behind them when going past the traffic islands. Generally speaking I feel a lot safer cycling around Woodford/South Woodford (belonging to LB Redbridge) probably because traffic is allowed to flow more freely. In Waltham Forest drivers are constantly frustrated in their efforts to get around which creates more aggression. I have already said before on another posting that it is quicker for me to drive from Leytonstone to Ilford on a Saturday morning to do my shopping (and a lot easier to park) rather than go to Walthamstow. It is puzzling for me to understand why we have to put up with such a bad cycling infrastructure in Waltham Forest particularly when there is a full time dedicated 'cycling officer' post in the council and we also have an MP and cabinet councillor who cycle in the area. One wonders what they have to think about all this. On the question of an increase of casualty statistics this could be an indication of more people taking up cycling. There will always be crazy cyclists flounting the law and jumping red lights, etc. just as there are many drivers in this borough doing likewise and talking on their mobile phones whilst driving. The simple fact is that cyclists are far more vulnerable so need to take extra care if they want to survive. I have managed to survive as a cyclist for 30 years and the only 2 times I have been hit by cars was in Waltham Forest. livedheretoolong
  • Score: 0

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