Cycling through a road accident hotspot
I recently cycled through a road accident hotspot in London to see how bad it was.
I was fitted with a microphone to record the experience after hearing about a petition from local people calling for changes to the A23 in Streatham.
According to the campaigners, the road sees `a significant incident every four days, with someone being fatally or seriously injured every month`.
The petition is just one of a number being organised by local groups across our city which call for improvements to the design of roads. The A23 petition asks for a number of things including clear speed limits and speed cushions to slow the traffic down.
As I cycled along the route, I was being passed all the time by cars and buses. It was nerve wracking when a bus comes close to you.
I really would like to cycle more, but the problem is roads like this terrify me. Cars zoom past at way more than 30 miles per hour. It’s almost like a racetrack in places.
I admit I was scared, in fact, I would say terrified at times. Imagine if you cycled along this route every day, as many people do. It’s no wonder there have been so many accidents and so many casualties. Something clearly has to be done.
While I was in the area, I also spent time talking to local people. I wanted to know what they thought. For example, should there be a separate cycle lane? To me it looks like there is space to add one.
In my view, we need to make sure that roads are safe for everyone who uses them. It doesn`t matter whether you are on a bicycle like I was, a pedestrian or a driver.
The organiser of the A23 petition is local resident Charly Lewis. She told me that she set up the petition because she was just getting frustrated with witnessing accident after accident. Charly believes that part of the problem is down to major developments nearby putting increased pressure on the road.
After seeing the situation in Streatham, I think that planners across London need really need to think about how they can improve the design of the roads at these accident spots.