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Cyclist killed in rush-hour crash in Holborn

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woman cyclist was killed near Holborn station in a rush-hour collision with a HGV on Tuesday morning.

The rider, who police said was believed to be in her late 30s, could not be saved by doctors and paramedics and was declared dead at the scene.

The collision happened just after 10am.

The cyclist, who has not been named, is the first person to die cycling in London in 2022 and the sixth to die in the Holborn area in nine years.

London’s walking and cycling commissioner pledged to consider short-term safety measures – but warned a long-term solution for the area would be impossible unless Transport for London were able to secure Government funding for major projects.

The collision happened at the junction of High Holborn and Procter Street, about 20 yards east of Kingsway and close to the Tube station side entrance.

The scene at Holborn where a cyclist was killed in collision with a HGV

/ John Dunne

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 10:06am today to reports of a road traffic collision involving a cyclist outside Holborn Underground station.

“We sent a paramedic in a fast response car and an incident response officer to the scene. We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance. The first of our medics arrived in under five minutes.

“Sadly, a person died at the scene.”

Police road traffic collision investigators were trawling the scene outside Holborn station.

A bike lay in the middle of High Holborn while a police tent covered the spot where the fatally injured cyclist fell.

Police cordons remained across the road as experts collected CCTV footage from nearby cameras.

Ricardo Montes, 55, who was at the scene, said: “There was a [woman] who looked to be in her 30s on a bike. There was a collision. It was horrible. It will give me nightmares.”

A shop worker said: “I heard screams and people running towards someone on the ground who had come off their bike. It was horrific.”

Scotland Yard said on Tuesday afternoon that the victim was a woman who was believed to be in her late 30s.

“A HGV was reported to be in collision with a cyclist,” it said in a statement.

“The London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade attended the scene. The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.”

“Local road closures are in place while emergency services deal.”

The Met said no arrests had been made and inquiries were continuing.

London Cycling Campaign announced a vigil will be held at Holborn at 6pm on Friday.

Simon Munk, of London Cycling Campaign, said the road was blighted by “a lot of people crossing lanes”, with traffic able to turn right up Southampton Row, go straight across towards New Oxford Street or left down Kingsway.

He said: “We are utterly distraught and utterly exhausted with there being another fatality at this set of junctions.

“This one of these junctions where you know it’s just a matter of time before someone else dies. We have an ongoing campaign to keep pushing TfL to move faster [on safety improvements].”

Ten people were killed cycling in London last year.

The incident appears to have happened only yards where cyclist Alan Neve was killed by a HGV in 2013.

Traffic from Procter Street comes together with westbound traffic from High Holborn as part of the notorious Holborn gyratory in this location.

Traffic was said to have been particularly heavy on Tuesday morning due to the Tube strike, with rain also present.

Last August Dr Marta Krawiec was fatally injured by a HGV as it turned left at the junction of Theobalds Road and Southampton Row, about 200 yards further north from the latest fatal collision.

Transformation of the Holborn gyratory has been delayed due to Transport for London having a lack of funds, primarily due to a collapse in income resulting from the pandemic.

However Camden council, which is leading on the wider transformation of Holborn, did implement temporary changes at the Theobalds Road/Southampton Row junction last September and began making them permanent in January.

These included changing the southbound Southampton Row approach to the junction from three lanes to two to reduce the risk to cyclists of vehicles turning left.

The latest phase of work will include a new segregated cycle track northbound and southbound on Southampton Row and “early start” traffic lights, of around four seconds, for cyclists in all directions.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said on Tuesday evening: “I’m devastated to learn about the death of the person cycling in Holborn this morning after a collision with an HGV.

“Making London’s roads safer is our top priority. TfL is currently working with Camden to make safety improvements to the junction further north on Holborn gyratory. We have a permanent plan for improvements to the whole area, but the ongoing uncertainty around TfL’s funding support due to covid forced us to stop.

“We will work with Camden to investigate what short term measures can be brought forward in the wake of this awful incident.

“However, without a plan for proper, longer-term investment for transport in London, it is very hard to plan and deliver major overhauls at complex junctions like this.”

TfL’s latest Government bailout, secured last Friday, includes a requirement to spend £50m on healthy streets schemes by June.

Sam Monck, TfL’s head of healthy streets delivery, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the cyclist who was tragically killed after a collision with an HGV in Holborn this morning.

“Any death or serious injury is completely unacceptable and we’re committed to doing everything possible to eliminate it from London’s roads. We’re determined to make all roads safer and we will assist the police as they investigate the circumstances.”

A Camden council spokesman said on Tuesday afternoon: “We would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of the person who has tragically lost their life in Holborn.

“We are working with the police and Transport for London as they review the circumstances that led to this fatality.”

Last year the London Cycling Campaign demanded safety changes at Holborn and other deadly junctions.

A former colleague of Dr Krawiec, who worked at Evelina London children’s hospital, is running the Paris half-marathon to raise money in her memory. You can donate here.

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