Catford and the South Circular

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Sadly, yet another person has been seriously injured on the stretch of the South Circular Rd that runs through Catford Town Centre. Its only a few months since Lewisham Cyclists rode in remembrance of Lukasz Binkowski, killed last year on the Catford Bridge section and now another rider has suffered what the police have described as life threatening injuries in a collision with a lorry again, just yards away on the same road.

We have written to TfL, specifically to the Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, as it’s Transport for London who are responsible for the South Circular, it being one of London’s strategic routes. We think something needs to be done now to improve the safety, not just of cyclists, but of pedestrians too, who have also been injured in collisions on this stretch of road.

The text of our communication is here:

Dear Will Norman,

Its no exaggeration to say that Lewisham Cyclists are devastated to contact you once again on the topic of a serious collision on the South Circular in Catford.

At the moment, unlike Lukasz Binkowski who tragically  lost his life in October last year,just yards away from last Tuesday’s collision, this rider, we hear, is still alive, but has life threatening injuries and, the last we heard was in a critical condition.          

   This latest incident, just a few months later, tragically highlights once again the huge importance of attending to this immediately. The stretch of road on the South Circular all the way through Catford Town centre from Brownhill Rd in the east to Stanstead Rd in the west is not fit for purpose and subjects the thousands of people walking and cycling here to a completely unacceptable risk of harm from motor traffic.    

Specifically regarding cycling, there is no alternative route at all through the town centre from east to west and back. Even dismounting and walking your bike creates issues and conflicts, as the pavements, especially over the railway bridge, are often so narrow. 
Lewisham Cyclists urge you to come down to Catford and view the situation that local people have to cope with on a daily basis. It is not enough to tell people there is a long term plan for the area. In the ten years or more that this could take, it is extremely likely that more people will die or suffer serious injuries here. If the mayor’s commitment to Vision Zero means anything, some action has to be taken now to reduce the risks people walking and cycling here can face.

Visit the area and talk to local cyclists and pedestrians about their daily experiences and discuss the immediate possibilities for improving our safety here.
 We expect and look forward to your speedy response and suggestion of dates convenient for you.
Kind regards,       Jane Davis, Coordinator, Lewisham Cyclists 

We will keep everyone updated on TfL’s response.