Coroner warns of more deaths at junction where lorry hit cyclist Lucia Ciccioli

A coroner has issued a catalogue of concerns about “inadequate” protection for cyclists at a junction where a woman rider was killed in a collision with an HGV.

Lucia Ciccioli, 32, was run over by a 45ft articulated lorry in Lavender Hill, Clapham, on October 24, 2016.

Coroner Russell Caller has written to Transport for London and Wandsworth council warning that further deaths may occur unless safety is improved.

He said the road layout “places cyclists in a vulnerable position” and said Ms Ciccioli may have been thrown into the lorry’s path after hitting a pothole.

Ms Ciccioli, an Italian working as a waitress in London, died from multiple injuries after being hit just before 8am as she cycled to a new job.

The lorry driver did not realise he had hit her and was stopped by a motorist cutting in front of him 200m further on. At the time of the collision, he had been on a hands-free phone call. 

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The inquest in January was told that both had been heading west on Lavender Hill, towards Clapham Junction station. They stopped at traffic lights at the junction with Elspeth Road and Latchmere Road. Ms Ciccioli was in the left-hand of three lanes, which is for left-turning traffic. The lorry was in the middle lane, which is for traffic heading straight across the junction.

She went straight on and moved in front of the lorry because the “road appeared to narrow”, the coroner said.She travelled over a dip in the road “where it appeared as if a pothole had not been repaired, which caused her to lose her balance and fall and collide with the lorry,” he added.

Mr Caller gave a verdict of accidental death but issued a prevention of future deaths notice to TfL and Wandsworth council.

He wrote: “There is an inadequate cycle lane leading up to the traffic lights. There is inadequate protection generally for cyclists riding towards the junction … particularly for those cyclists that wish to go straight over the junction towards Lavender Hill, or for those that wish to turn right into Latchmere Road.

“The narrow aspect of Lavender Hill immediately past the junction places cyclists in a vulnerable position. The dip in the road in Lavender Hill is dangerous and in need of urgent repair.”

The Standard visited the junction yesterday and witnessed several incidents that appeared to be near misses between cyclists and other vehicles, though the pothole appeared to have been repaired.

Wandsworth council said the junction was TfL’s responsibility as Elspeth Road and Latchmere Road were part of the “Red Routes” strategic road network.

TfL is introducing a “direct vision standard” to improve visibility from HGV cabs. It said it was working to make junctions safer and would study the report. No action was taken against the driver.

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