Monday, November 20, 2017

Make Uxbridge Road Safe!


It has been a sad autumn, with two cyclists killed on Ealing’s roads. On 12 October, Claudia Manera, a 51 year-old fitness instructor was hit with a lorry on the Uxbridge Road at the junction with Northfield Avenue. She died a week later. Then, on 9 November, Darshan Singh Heer, an 86 year-old retired teacher, was hit with a lorry on South Road in Southall while cycling to a local park.

Following the death of Claudia Manera, Ealing Cycling Campaign organized a march calling on Ealing Council to Make the Uxbridge Road Safe. Over 250 people, including Rupa Huq, MP and councilors from all parties, walked from the town hall to the Lido junction in West Ealing where a minute’s silence was held in memory of Claudia. The police did an excellent job marshaling the procession – Claudia had worked for them before setting up as a fitness instructor. After the march, the council invited cyclists to a meeting at the town hall to exchange views on cycling in the borough. About 50 cyclists attended the workshop and contributed ideas. Sadly, two days later, Darshan Singh Heer was killed in Southall. On the evening of 10 November, around 25 cyclists joined his family and friends for a vigil.

In the wake of the march, a new group has formed: Make Uxbridge Road Safe, which is campaigning to make the road safe for all road users. Between 2012 and 2016, three people were killed on the Uxbridge Road and over 300 people injured, 46 of them seriously. Although the Uxbridge Road makes up only 2% of Ealing’s road network, it accounts for 20 percent of pedestrian casualties, and 25% of cycling casualties in the borough. More alarmingly, over a third of cyclists killed or seriously injured in Ealing were injured in collisions on the Uxbridge Road. The new campaign has started a petition calling for Ealing Council to carry out a safety review of the Uxbridge Road. If it achieves its target of 1500 signatures by 27 November, it will trigger a full debate of Ealing council – probably on Tuesday 19th December.

There are several possible sources for funding improvements. Transport for London’s Strategic Cycling Analysis, published earlier this year, identified the Uxbridge Road corridor as one of the top 25 routes in London for potential growth in cycling, and has targeted it for further study.  The council has put in a bid to TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme for 8 million pounds to improve West Ealing. ECC would like to see the scheme include improvements to the Lido junction, a better crossing from the Dean Gardens shared-use path to Mattock Lane and a cycle crossing of the Uxbridge Road to link Broughton Road and Broomfield Road.


Over the past 3 years, HGVs have been involved in over 70% of cyclist deaths in London. LCC has led the calls for a redesign of lorry cabs so drivers have a clear view ahead, and we are now beginning to see the first ‘Direct Vision’ cabs on the road. For details, and information on safe cycling around lorries visit: lorrysafety.lcc.org.uk

The only thing more dangerous than cycling is not cycling.
Notwithstanding the sad events reported on this page, remember that studies have consistently shown that the accident risk of cycling is far outweighed by the general health benefits of cycling.
Cyclists’ life expectancy is above average!