Transport for London have promised to consider options to extend the new ‘Cycle Superhighway’ into Lewisham town centre following the death of a cyclist on Monday.
Father-of-two Paul Hutcheson, 41, from Lee, south east London suffered serious injuries in a collision with a red Audi at Loampit Vale in Lewisham and died after being taken to a south London hospital.
The car involved did not initially stop at the scene but was located a short distance away. Police said the 28-year-old driver was arrested and has since been bailed to return in August pending further enquiries.
The location of the accident was in an area that was once planned as part of Cycle Superhighway 5, which is currently being created from the Oval to New Cross. Cycling campaigners want the route extended into Lewisham town centre because of the heavy traffic in the area.
“We are now looking at options to extend Cycle Superhighway 5 to Lewisham town centre. Discussions are at an early stage,” TfL said in an email to the local cyclist campaign group Lewisham Cyclists.
Jane Davis, coordinator of Lewisham Cyclists said: “The junction near the incident links to LCN 21 and one of our concerns has been inadequate signs and unsafe links to these quiet, safe routes.
“Some of us took a look at the area and took some photos of the hazards we could see. It’s a pretty confusing area for cyclists.”
In a moving tribute at the scene of the crash in Loampit Vale, Hutcheson’s wife, Mandie, wrote: “‘Morning Treacle’ so wish I could hear you say that to me again. It feels like my lungs have no air and my heart has no beat.”
A friend and fellow Millwall FC supporter also left Millwall FC’s flag at the scene and wrote: “Sleep tight Paul”.
The incident at Lewisham raises concerns again about the safety and welfare of London’s cyclists. The uncle of 17-year old Olatunji “TJ” Johnson Adeyanju, who was killed in a similar incident last year, was quoted in News Shopper saying that if any good was to come from the tragic death of his nephew then more needed to be done to promote safer cycling in the capital. His nephew was the unfortunate victim of a hit-and-run incident in Deptford, Lewisham in 2012.
TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, Surface Transport, Garrett Emmerson said in a statement: “We [are] extremely sorry to hear of the death of a cyclist on Lewisham High Street earlier this week and our thoughts go out to his friends and family.”
Police from the Road Death Investigation Unit are still appealing for information. If you can help call 020 8285 1574 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.