This hit and run incident at the junction of Tower Bridge Road and Abbey Street has been featuring in the new recently.
Andrea McVeigh posted on the SE1 forum last week to describe what happened when she and her husband crossed Tower Bridge Road near the Abbey Street junction at about 6pm on Tuesday 14 April.
As they stepped onto the pavement on the western side of the road, a cyclist who was on the pavement collided with Ms McVeigh causing her to fall.
This is an ongoing case; the person cycling still doesn’t appear to have presented themselves to the police so it can be resolved.
But from the version of events we have, it’s plainly not a great idea to have people cycling whizzing about on pavements, especially when it’s not obvious to pedestrians that they might encounter someone cycling on a footway. (In this case – because cycling on this particular stretch of footway is not legal.)
However, just 200 metres from this junction, a little further south down Tower Bridge Road, Transport for London have designed a junction on a new Quietway between Greenwich and Waterloo that involves… people cycling on the footway.
People crossing the eastern side of junction on foot, in a north-south direction, will encounter people cycling along the footway, in an east-west direction – a perpendicular conflict on a footway, very similar to the kind of conflict in this hit-and-run incident.
Yet at this junction with Rothsay Street/Webb Street, just down the road from where the collision involving Andrea McVeigh and the unknown man took place, cycling here will be entirely legal, planned for by this new design.
Quietways like this will (or should) be attracting lots of potential users on bikes. But there’s going to be very little to indicate to anyone crossing the road on foot that the footway on the other side is, effectively, a busy cycle route. It will look like a large area of pavement.
Hit and run collisions involving people cycling on pavements are shocking, but isn’t it just as shocking that we’re designing precisely that kind of conflict into new junctions just yards away?