Serious Injuries to Cyclists on 'Safer Cycle Pathway' Rise Again

Two more incidents on King Street reported in latest update from TfL

The orginal design had blue surface paint at the Weltje Road junction. Picture: Google Streetview


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Further concerns are being raised about the safety of the new cycleway on King Street in Hammersmith after the latest update of statistics for accidents.

Transport for London (TfL) has updated its Collision Map for the month of September 2022 which has revealed that two more cyclists were seriously injured on Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s ‘Safer Cycle Pathway’ since the last data release.

This brings the total number of people on pedal bikes badly hurt on the segregated cycle way for the first nine months of 2022 to six, double the number for the previous five years combined, which is as far back as the date has been collected. Collisions were always likely to rise as the number of cyclists increased but even the highest estimates for the rise in use of bikes on King Street are nowhere near the rise in the number of serious injuries.

During the same period there was one cyclist seriously injured on the Chiswick High Road section of the cycleway.

The September update to the figures includes a collision that took place on Thursday 1 September at 1.20pm in which a cyclist was hit by a car near the junction with St. Peter’s Close by the Tesco car park.

There was also an incident added that took place on Sunday 21 August at 7.45pm in which a cyclist was badly hurt after being hit by a car near the junction with Weltje Road. This brings to three the number of cyclists seriously injured at this one junction, half of the total for the year to date.

Even before the implementation of the Cycleway, Weltje Road was an accident hotspot although up until 2022 none of the collisions involving cyclists reported on the collision data map had resulted in serious injury.

The data released in the Collision Data Map is provisional and subject to later revision but most changes are understood to result in injuries being assessed as more serious rather than less so it is believed to be unlikely that the number so far in 2022 will be revised down.

A Design Review Group meeting on the planned Cycle Superhighway 9 held on 19 June 2017 discussed the issue of risk at the Weltje Road junction. The minutes of the meeting show that a request was made to ban access to the A4 from Weltje Road by a representative of the London Cycling Campaign whose name was redacted. A TfL staff member said that this would not be possible because it would result in lengthy diversions. It was not feasible to indent the cycleway at this point to increase the safety of cyclists because of the position of trees near the junction but the TfL traffic officer said that the raised table for pedestrian crossing an a blue painted road surface would result in motorists moving through the junction more slowly.

The current design of the Cycleway was implemented by Hammersmith and Fulham Council on what is described as a ‘semi-permanent’ basis. We asked the council why the blue surfacing from the original design was not used at Weltje Road but it did not respond to the question referring us to an earlier statement that they gave when the issue of safety on the cycleway was raised in which the council’s spokesman said that it was looking at a number of crossings and junctions with a view to improving safety at them.

On its web site the council says that the Safer Cycle Pathway does not use the full construction design of the original permanent scheme and, should funding become available, upgrades with permanent kerbs to replace rubber wands.

TfL has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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March 13, 2023