TfL caught in cycle superhighway safety troubles

 

Transport for London (TfL) appears not to have followed a coroner’s request to review and replace areas of cycle superhighway with lower grip than ‘the usual road surface’ following the death of a motorcyclist last year.

TfL has carried out testing and resurfacing on some areas of cycle superhighway (CSH) since Milan Dokic was killed on Battersea Park Road in March 2016.

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However, it does not appear to have addressed the specific concerns of coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox in a 'report to prevent future deaths' in February.

Transport Network understands that a further Regulation 28 prevention of death report relating to the incident will be issued by another coroner shortly, which parties have a statutory duty to respond to within a specified time.

Dr Wilcox previously wrote that ‘the use of road surface with reduced grip compared to the usual road surface represents a hazard’ and that TfL should ‘undertake an urgent review of all areas treated with such road surface and replace it with the higher grip surface’.

A spokesperson said: ‘TfL has been conducting an urgent review of the road surface of all Superhighways. This began with worn sections of Cycle Superhighways 7 and 8 being resurfaced. This is now complete apart from a short section while repairs to a water leak take place.’

However, this resurfacing resulted from routine inspections in August 2016, six months before the coroner’s statutory report.

TfL added: ‘SCRIM [skid resistance] tests have also taken place along Cycle Superhighways 2, 3, 7 and 8. The results are currently being analysed with resurfacing taking place where necessary.’

These inspections do not cover all CSHs in London and were carried out ‘where necessary’ following walked inspections of the four superhighways.

TfL has said it will work with boroughs, who have responsibility for sections of CSHs, to remedy ‘any issues’.

However there appears to be a disparity between its assessment that grip on CSHs, including the area where the fatal accident took place, is ‘adequate’ and the coroner’s concern about the difference between grip on CSHs and the ‘usual road surface’.

TfL has told Transport Network that police tests a month after the incident last year showed the skid resistance value (SRV) at the collision location to be 56.3, which was below the SRV at the time of installation in 2011 (60) but ‘did not give cause for concern as degradation over time is to be expected’.

It also stated that when it has previously assessed the grip at this site and others as adequate compared to recommended SRV values of above 45 for normal roads. However, the coroner’s concern was that the SRV at the scene of the accident was significantly lower than the road (77.05), as well as the CSH immediately before this (89.95).

Dr Wilcox’s report details how Mr Dokic lost control of his motorcycle after losing grip on the CSH when overtaking a van on the inside in wet conditions.

 
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