Cyclist death sparks calls to improve road safety

Laurent Patrick Cullinan, 25, was in a fatal collision with a car on Saturday

Laurent Patrick Cullinan, 25, was in a fatal collision with a car on Saturday

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The death of a 25-year-old cyclist hit by a car in the early hours of Saturday morning has led to renewed calls to make the borough safer for those on two wheels.

Laurent Patrick Cullinan, known by friends as Patrick, died weeks before his 26th birthday after his pushbike was in a collision with a silver Honda Accord in Kingston Road, Raynes Park at 12.45am on Saturday.

Parents of cyclist killed in Raynes Park crash pay tribute to 'lovely, kind' son

Laurent, who had a long-term girlfriend of seven years, had just finished his two-year course in aeronautical engineering at Kingston College and attained merits and distinctions.

It is believed he was cycling home to Burghley Avenue, New Malden, after meeting friends.

The driver of the car, a 32-year-old man, who stopped, was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and has been bailed until September.

The tragic incident follows a campaign for more cycling lanes around the borough after Merton missed out on a significant share of the Mayor of London's £100m ‘Mini Holland’ fund to make a number of outer London boroughs into cycle hubs redesigned on Dutch principles.

No cyclists have died as a result of road collisions in Merton in the past five years, but there were six serious incidents involving cyclists in 2013 and 12 in 2012.

Merton Council, which hoped to receive £10m towards cycling projects, is currently in discussions with the General London Authority and TfL to clarify how much funding they will receive and how it can be used to make cycling "safer and more convenient for everyone."

Charles Barraball, Merton co-ordinator for the London Cycling Campaign, said he would like to see physically protected cycle tracks in areas of heavy traffic, priority for people travelling by foot and pedal at every junction and a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit.

Recent investment in cycle infrastructure has focused on improvements between South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood, providing a connection to Cycle Superhighway 7, which links the borough to the City via Southwark.

Future improvements include a cycle scheme planned for Beddington Lane, Mitcham, extending towards Colliers Wood.

New cycle links and routes are also planned for town centre development projects in Mitcham and Colliers Wood, where a separate cycle lane has been built in part of Leyton Road.

Wimbledon Guardian:

While there have been no other serious traffic collisions at the Kingston Road junction in the past year, residents said they are concerned about road safety in the area.

Dreshawn Hill, manager at Radiance Health and Beauty, which looks onto the scene of the crash, said: "No-one has been hurt but there have been previous accidents nearby.

"It's not new but nothing's happened like this accident."

Space for Cycling, a campaign run by the London Cycling Campaign is calling for protected cycling lanes in Kingston Road and other routes around the borough.

For information about free cycle training for adults and children in Merton, visit: merton.gov.uk/transport-streets/cycling.htm

Comments (3)

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9:14pm Wed 23 Jul 14

alphabeti says...

Firstly, this is terribly sad for the family. Such a waste.

One thing I would like to see changed is the Bushey Road dual carriageway. This is a 40 speed limit with a park and sports club on one side and residential housing on the other. There are very few places to cross safely. The speed limit should be reduced and additional crossing points added. I also don't see much point in the dual carriageway since the road narrows drastically on the approach to Merton Park tram stop.

In regards to the mini Holland bid the scheme had many flaws. Rather than concentrate on infrastructure for cycling we should be taking steps to change the behaviour of drivers. Pedestrians are at just as much risk and in fact account for a greater number of casualties.
Firstly, this is terribly sad for the family. Such a waste. One thing I would like to see changed is the Bushey Road dual carriageway. This is a 40 speed limit with a park and sports club on one side and residential housing on the other. There are very few places to cross safely. The speed limit should be reduced and additional crossing points added. I also don't see much point in the dual carriageway since the road narrows drastically on the approach to Merton Park tram stop. In regards to the mini Holland bid the scheme had many flaws. Rather than concentrate on infrastructure for cycling we should be taking steps to change the behaviour of drivers. Pedestrians are at just as much risk and in fact account for a greater number of casualties. alphabeti
  • Score: 2

4:00pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Mordenman says...

What a tragic waste of a young life.

The previous comment is absolutely spot on. This is not about cycle safety, but about the safety of everyone who uses this Borough's roads. By my calculation this brings to five the number of deaths on Merton's roads in 2014.

Our roads are just too dangerous and those people tasked with managing them don't have a clue what they are doing. All they care about is maintaining traffic flow. The new Council should demand their resignations and get in some people who understand safety.

This needs to happen now before another person is needlessly killed.
What a tragic waste of a young life. The previous comment is absolutely spot on. This is not about cycle safety, but about the safety of everyone who uses this Borough's roads. By my calculation this brings to five the number of deaths on Merton's roads in 2014. Our roads are just too dangerous and those people tasked with managing them don't have a clue what they are doing. All they care about is maintaining traffic flow. The new Council should demand their resignations and get in some people who understand safety. This needs to happen now before another person is needlessly killed. Mordenman
  • Score: 2

2:03am Sat 26 Jul 14

SilentStar says...

Road safety is brought about through sound science and engineering.
Needlessly reducing speed is rarely the answer as a) traffic will only reduce their speed by 1mph and b) it will not make road users safer
Needlessly reducing speed can encourage a 'zombie' state leading to inattention and distraction which can cause accidents.
Ensuring that proper encouragement and training for all those using the roads whether they be pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, bikers, cyclists, car drivers and all other vehicle drivers ensures that the roads will be safer in the long term.
Be warned, as we come out of recession there will be an increase in Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI). It is a well known fact. During every recession which happens about every 10 years, we always have a KSI reduction.
Adding cycle lanes do little to help or aid safer cycling either. However if people are encouraged and guided to improve their skills, knowledge and ability that will lead to safer roads. Working with other road users and be courteous and considerate is most important as it encourages the right attitude.
Placing up an automated enforcement camera or reducing speeds can cause distractions and are leading to people dying.
Altering a driver or riders visual aspect to preserving their licence than preventing damage ing, that road layouts are improved where-ever possible all help to reduce the KSI figures.
Just because 'being seen' to be popular like adding a cycle lane, or reducing a speed limit might 'sound good' does not mean that it is. Nor will it lead to safer roads (RTTM).
Reducing damage to people and property should always be a priority not making road users concentrat on preserving their licence.
Road safety is brought about through tried and tested methods like good guidence and advice along with sound science and engineering.
Using speed settings of the 85th percentile is the right way to set a road speed. Ensuring that signage is not over used or un-necessarily over complicated.
Spending the limited funding on the best road safety measures must to be the way forward, not on pc fashionable gimmicks like auto enforcement, that have no place in proper and scientific road safety planning. Increasing traffic police to enforce when necessary prevents a disproportionate number of good road users from being criminalised or being extortionately over charged/fined for 'crimes' they have not really committed!
We must all be responsible for our actions, trying as best we can to allow enough space around us to allow for our and others mistakes.
Road safety is brought about through sound science and engineering. Needlessly reducing speed is rarely the answer as a) traffic will only reduce their speed by 1mph and b) it will not make road users safer Needlessly reducing speed can encourage a 'zombie' state leading to inattention and distraction which can cause accidents. Ensuring that proper encouragement and training for all those using the roads whether they be pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, bikers, cyclists, car drivers and all other vehicle drivers ensures that the roads will be safer in the long term. Be warned, as we come out of recession there will be an increase in Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI). It is a well known fact. During every recession which happens about every 10 years, we always have a KSI reduction. Adding cycle lanes do little to help or aid safer cycling either. However if people are encouraged and guided to improve their skills, knowledge and ability that will lead to safer roads. Working with other road users and be courteous and considerate is most important as it encourages the right attitude. Placing up an automated enforcement camera or reducing speeds can cause distractions and are leading to people dying. Altering a driver or riders visual aspect to preserving their licence than preventing damage ing, that road layouts are improved where-ever possible all help to reduce the KSI figures. Just because 'being seen' to be popular like adding a cycle lane, or reducing a speed limit might 'sound good' does not mean that it is. Nor will it lead to safer roads (RTTM). Reducing damage to people and property should always be a priority not making road users concentrat on preserving their licence. Road safety is brought about through tried and tested methods like good guidence and advice along with sound science and engineering. Using speed settings of the 85th percentile is the right way to set a road speed. Ensuring that signage is not over used or un-necessarily over complicated. Spending the limited funding on the best road safety measures must to be the way forward, not on pc fashionable gimmicks like auto enforcement, that have no place in proper and scientific road safety planning. Increasing traffic police to enforce when necessary prevents a disproportionate number of good road users from being criminalised or being extortionately over charged/fined for 'crimes' they have not really committed! We must all be responsible for our actions, trying as best we can to allow enough space around us to allow for our and others mistakes. SilentStar
  • Score: 0

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