Cyclist dies at notorious Greenwich roundabout

Sad news this morning of an apparent collision between a cyclist and lorry in east Greenwich at the Angerstein roundabout under the Blackwall Tunnel approach which has caused the death of the cyclist. An air ambulance landed nearby to assist.

It’s the second collision involving a cyclist in a week. The last was on Romney Road.

The roundabout where today’s accident occurred is notorious for being a dangerous spot.

Widespread dangers

As I’ve written to the point of tedium, almost the entirety of Greenwich is poor for those on foot and cycling and very little income from new developments has done a thing to change that.

Even where cycle lanes exist (which aren’t very good), illegal parking is endemic putting cyclists in danger.

Today’s accident spot is on a TfL managed area. Greenwich Council had been pinning hopes for years on it being altered by a Cycle SuperHighway or Silvertown Tunnel related works. Neither appears to do so.

Mayor Sadiq Khan cut back Cycle Superhighway to Greenwich instead of Woolwich, affecting this junction’s prospects.

I have real fears more accidents will occur, particularly when St Mary Magdalene school opens. As far as I can tell, no road changes or new crossings are being provided for it.

There will be 1,600 pupils ranging from toddlers being dropped off by parents to 17 years old heading to get lunch at east Greenwich fast food takeaways.

Today’s accident happened on a TfL managed area, but 90% of the area is Greenwich borough controlled as this map shows. Red is Greenwich controlled and blue is TfL.

Both need their heads banging to get some improvements and quick, or more accidents WILL happen.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    24 thoughts on “Cyclist dies at notorious Greenwich roundabout

    • I witnessed the aftermath of this. You are bang on about this nasty roundabout (I use it every day) which is hardly fit for purpose . The road markings have all faded away and drivers who don’t know the junction are often in wrong lanes and react at the last minute.
      The situation is exacerbated by the numerous HGVs going to-and-fro from the peninsular — one of them was involved in today’s collision.
      How many more ghost bikes is this wretched piece of road architecture going to see before someone gets to work on it?

      • Hi Chris, I was there too. Thankfully didn’t witness the accident. Do you know which direction the lorry was coming from? Was it turning left and didn’t see the cyclist or was it driving along the A2?

    • TFL know about the problems along Woolwich road – they just haven’t done anything about it. I know this as I contacted the london cycling campaign around the time of a proposal for a new cycle superhighway which would go from SE1 to SE18, The LCC advised me that they had appealed for the extension to follow into Woolwich – this was rejected earlier this year.

      it is staggering to see a complete lack of response from the authorities here – What are the council doing?!

    • This is awful news.
      Which direction were they travelling? I agree it’s a terrible junction, and I personally think eastbound is worse with having three lanes, and many cars being in the wrong places for the way they want to go.

      The parking situation should be more rigorously enforced during rush hour. I’ve been recording the amount of times I have to leave the bike lane on my way to town between this flyover and the start of Trafalgar Road. I don’t go that way every day, but since I started in November, there has been just one day (Tues March 20th) where I didn’t have to leave the cycle lane:

      I periodically update the councillors with this information, but they haven’t even acknowledged it yet.

      • Re: Eastbound. Yes, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen middle lane traffic turn left into sliproad/Bugsby’s Way at that roundabout. Heaven help cyclists there.

      • The tent was right on the edge of the southbound sliproad onto the A102 and right where Adrianna Skrzypiec’s ghost bike was, for many years, chained to the railings.

        At this time of the day, most cyclists here are westbound. I do it every day and it’s horrible whether you’re going east or west.

        It will be interesting to see whether the Council’s statement differs in any way from that which they put out in 2009 following Adrianna Skrzypiec’s death:

      • Hi Matt, I took a look at your bike footage and it looks horribly familiar. I do a route from East Greenwich to North Lambeth and can easily say the stretch from EG Library to the Arches swimming pool is the worst part of my journey (even worse than New Cross!). I am just so sick to death of unloading articulated lorries during rush hour, vehicles filling the cyclist space at the jw Blackwall Lane, vehicles parked in the cycle lanes by the parade of shops near the Labour Party Offices and along Fenton Parade. I must also throw in the crap light phases at Maze Hill that allows so many cars to enter onto the main road, which then blocks the main traffic flow. It is outrageous that there seems to be no parking enforcement along this stretch of road. Someone in power really needs to get a grip of matters.

        • Hi Gordon, I’m glad someone else can see it too. I only started documenting that stretch of road as it seemed like a classic box ticking exercise to put in a cycle lane but then allow anybody on four wheels to block it during rush hour. I’m not anti-car, nor am I anti-business but I strongly believe at times of the day where space is at a premium, those who are most vulnerable should be protected. As you say, someone in power really needs to step up and make a difference – the evidence is there that the situation is dire, day in day out, and action is needed before there is any further needless waste of life

    • This is a serious and objective report of a major concern. Thank you. I am willing to become a patron of this site but in my fuddy-duddy way I need to know the identity of the hard-working author please.

    • I would be very happy to lend my time and effort to a campaign to lobby for these junction to be improved so that no friends, family and loved ones have to suffer such a horrible loss.

      Politicians will listen if we can garner sufficient support.

      • The London Cycling Campaign are (and have been for some time) lobbying for this to be improved. Proposals that would likely have improved it have been raised and then dropped both in the form of cycle superhighway 4 (as originally envisaged) and as part of TfL’s better junctions programme.

    • @Anthony, when you make your payment, the name of the author is provided on the receipt.

      My comment is not regarding this terrible news, but the signals on the roundabout itself.

      The traffic lights appear not to be clear enough. I see a large number of drivers (I have not counted, this is anecdotal from my daily commute) passing through red lights and I think it is more to do with poor signals, poor phasing, drivers not paying attention rather than just jumping lights. One set is green, another set, less than 20 metres ahead is red.

      I have nearly been hit by vehicles where the driver is oblivious to their red signal. The whole thing needs a re-think. It wont happen, there isn’t the appetite by those that could make the change.

    • Awful to see the air ambulance this morning and when I saw the queue I had a feeling it’d be that slip road. I’ve written to the council numerous times but have had no response (even if as this blog shows they could have told me to contact TfL). I’ve lost track of the number of red light jumpers, over one period it was about 50% of drivers jumping it.

      I agree with JB, the signalling is poorly done. The crossing with the accident is probably the most dangerous (as sadly seen today), but it’s not alone. The slip from the northbound A102 has poor timing where cars can be held by lights turning red for non-existent buses. Likewise those leaving southbound can be stuck for exceedingly long times as the green lights for them to proceed into the round about times when the next set just 5metres ahead go red, leading to lengthy queues.

      All this leads to frustrated drivers driving badly to avoid another wait. This isn’t defending them but if TfL ignores driver behaviour and plans that everyone will drive perfectly with 100% concentration then there will be more accidents. Particularly as more traffic comes to Ikea.

    • Some cyclist rides in a way that bothered the car drivers…some of them dont have manners for other road users…they want to race with the other road users….

      • Nothing to suggest this is what happened here, and even if some people do lack manners, that doesn’t justify running them over and killing them. I hope you don’t drive, and I hope nobody close to the man who died is offended by your suggestion that he somehow deserved what happened to him because some cyclists lack manners.

    • My condolences to this man’s family and to the lorry driver. Terriblly sad.

    • I agree with many of the comments and sentiments here.
      The roundabout is horrendous and needs a total rethink – the council/tfl must take majority of the blame for this.

      I sometimes use this roundabout of the odd occassion when I drive and even I have issues navigating around it – and i’m a local! Imagine drivers who aren’t familiar with this roundabout! I cn see how easy it is to drift in other lanes, cut across last second because they’ll miss their etc etc.
      The lane markings are very poor (if there are any), so many drivers wander in different lanes.
      The phasing of the lights is also an issue as mentioned. You get a light turn green only for a light to turn red a few meters down. The number of drivers I see jump the red light is quite scary.
      It’s only because i use the roundabout often that I know the phasing.

      Drivers & cyclists however need to take some responsibility and not try to rush to their destination in built up areas. I understand their frustration but the driving & cycling attitude has a lot to be desired these days (that includes inconsiderate parking)

      Also the new shops (next etc) and forthcoming Ikea are going tomake things a whole lot worse!

    • This bloody roundabout is a massive blot on the East Greenwich landscape. Dangerous for cyclists with regard to poor lane markings and light phasing and the slip roads are regarded as launch pads for motorcyclists and boy racers. The area is also dark, filthy and poorly maintained. Will someone at RBoG and TFL get a grip on this site.

    • Another problem with this junction is that during times of congestion on the tunnel approach traffic exits going north and then just goes straight on to the approach again to use the slip road to partially jump the queue. This traffic often includes commuter coaches who block the traffic going west, which blocks the traffic going south, which blocks the traffic going east etc etc.

      As to the accident aftermath, the stationary lorry was swerved a bit to the right on the slip road. The tent was later erected on the roundabout a shade to the right of the entrance to the slip road. My guess — and it is only that — is that the lorry was coming off the peninsular and was not turning left onto the slip road. Either way, it doesn’t really matter as a family is mourning today.

      As mentioned here as well, IKEA is going to have a massive impact on the junction even if you believe the astonishing claim that 40 percent of visitors will be using public transport!

    • I genuinely think there should be a bigger focus on cycle lanes in South East London, compared to other areas of London we have always had less public transport links, now we are having fewer buses, I have to pay a premium to use South Eastern and Woolwich Arsenal isn’t going to get rezoned. If we can’t be given the public transport I do believe the cycle lanes should be better in South East London, I remember when traffic wardens used to be the scourge of the High Street, I can’t remember ever seeing one in Woolwich in the last couple of years, on a Sunday the New Wine church has members of the congregation parking on the A206, come 5pm today there will be huge tailbacks as people desperately try and get on the ferry blocking up the roundabout, i will hear sirens which means an emergency services vehicle won’t be getting to an emergency any time soon due to someone sat on the roundabout not willing to give way.
      I can’t really be bothered the local elections have happened, we have the same bunch in charge, they don’t care about anything other than Eltham and Greenwich, but if they are reading this I believe the cyclist’s death could have been avoided if you had taken action after Adrianna Skrzypiec’s sad death, you are elected to protect people and you have failed. A segregated cycle lane from Plumstead to Tower Bridge shouldn’t be a too big of an ask, it’s not like you are doing anything to improve public transport links.

    • This cyclist was a close friend of mine. He was an experienced, competent and respectful rider.. we both often were annoyed by cyclists that ran lights or were aggressive in how they turned a commute into something akin to a race.
      If it can happen to him, than it can happen to any cyclist.
      I can’t believe I’ll never see him again. My love goes to the wife he leaves behind and he will be sorely missed.
      Miss you already bro

    • Lorry design is an absolute disaster. These vehicles cannot function correctly on motorways, so why would anyone consider allowing them into built up areas. I have had 2 lorries hit my car because I was travelling on the next lane and they could not see a whole car (how has a cyclist got a chance) when they changed lanes. These vehicles admit they area a design disaster by bearing a label saying ‘Blind Spots’.
      In a factory setting the safety regulations would have banned these machines years ago.
      Hi Vision cabs have been available for some 15 years now but none of our regulators have thought it necessary to require these by law and thereby keep us safer.
      The SKC vigil in Woolwich will allow all to show their support for serious change.

    • Really sad to hear of another death. Condolences to the family he leaves behind.

      This route is on my regular commute for the last 11 years and will continue to be so.

      I hate this junction, but what I am most surprised about is the intimate knowledge others on this site have on my thoughts when crossing this junction.

      I have had several close calls myself. Something has to be done.


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