Saturday, 21 March 2009

Cyclist hit on Uxbridge Road

accident-askew-roadA woman cyclist was trapped under a heavy truck on the junction of Uxbridge and Askew Roads on Friday morning. She is confirmed to have been suffering from comparatively light injuries, including a broken ankle.

This is a very different version of events from those that were widely circulating on that junction among the gathered crowds even minutes after the crash. Most reports were that the woman had lost her legs and was in a very critical condition indeed.

What that shows you is two things. First, the power of rumour which thrives in a situation of panic and heightened emotion. Secondly however, the fact that this was a very believable account, and was the one I received when I came in from work, shows that that sort of scenario is entirely believable. The junction of Uxbridge and Askew Roads is a classic example of the sort of place you hear reported periodically as a place where "an accident is waiting to happen".

In fact I am genuinely amazed one has not yet happenned, at least in the last few years, which has claimed one or more lives. The junction is a disaster with two lanes of traffic trying to fit into a space that is barely able to hold one lane in the case of the Uxbridge Road because of the bus lane, and the predictable long delays to get around the corner if you are turning from one road into another.

I have personally seen - and even been on board - double decker buses such as the 260 that decide to take matters in their own hands, drive on the wrong side of the road and get round the corner to save the inevitable 15-20 minute wait which is not unknown.

And our own battle to save our street, which thankfully we won in the teeth of opposition from Transport for London, was all about trying to save our road from being the inevitable rat run it would have become if traffic calming measures had been torn down to get their unwanted bus route through. It wasnt the unwanted bus we were that bothered about, it was all the other traffic that would use our street to avoid the nightmare junction 100 metres up the Old Oak Road.

This has to be a priority to sort out for any responsible local authority. Given the attitudes we experienced over the bus from TfL they are unlikly to want to help unless they are forced to. So we will be asking, time and again from now until it happens, for this disaster junction to change. Starting with the lights that only let 3 cars turn per go, which leads to the sort of driving I have described and sadly I would think contributed to this unfortunate woman's accident. I wish her well. She must be staring at a hospital ceiling at the moment coming to terms with how close to death she just came.


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