London mayor Boris Johnson has spoken about how a lorry crashed right next to himself and a group of transport officials while they were on a fact-finding ride in Limehouse, east London.
Ironically, Johnson and the senior Transport for London officials were researching possible new cycle routes to improve bike safety in the capital.
CCTV film footage shows the cyclists rounding a corner before a lorry approaches from behind and attempts to pass between them and parked cars on the aptly named Narrow Street.
The lorry’s rear doors fly open as it goes over a speed hump, hitting a parked car. The car is then dragged behind the lorry until the driver stops, and he and Johnson inspect the damage. Those who have seen the footage will find it incredible that none of the cycling party was injured.
The mayor said: “I did vaguely notice a rather loud crash and there was a bit of debris caused by the car catapulting through the party. It was obvious from the noise that something had gone wrong and when I stopped and turned I could see the debris. Thankfully, no one took a scratch.”
Also in the cycling party was Transport for London’s head of transport policy, Kulveer Ranger, who said: “It’s a miracle none of us was hurt. Any one of us could have been killed. I just stopped and thought, ‘Phew, I’m still here’.”
Johnson used the incident to plug his own cycle lane policy, saying: “If that had been a ‘Super Highway’ the driver would have been aware there would be cyclists and it wasn’t safe to be catapulting cars about. Cycle Super Highways, which are part of our record investment in cycling, will play a central role in this, providing demarcated routes for cyclists that lorry drivers and others will be aware of.”
Metropolitan Police officers interviewed the driver of the lorry, which appeared to be carrying scrap, under caution. He has been reported for driving without due care and attention and keeping a vehicle in a dangerous condition.