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One dead after bus and bicycle crash in Hampshire, England

Monday, July 19, 2010

A person has died after being involved in a collision between a bus and a bicycle in Hampshire in the south of England, United Kingdom. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was cycling in the seaside resort of Southsea when a number 700 Stagecoach single-decker bus, which was travelling from Brighton to Southsea, collided with her bicycle at approximately 1315 BST (1215 UTC) on Saturday. A helicopter transported the woman to Southampton General Hospital, where she died at approximately 1630 BST (1530 UTC) on the same day.

None of the occupants of the bus were injured. The 53-year-old bus driver has now been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. Hampshire Constabulary is requesting any witnesses to the accident to contact them. PC Phil Hunt also mentioned: “We are also trying to trace the passengers, who left the scene before we could speak to them.”

The road traffic accident occurred in an area where Portsmouth City Council had been intending to place a new cycle route, but the plans to do so were cancelled last week. The plans, which would have cost £250,000 (US$382,373, €296,481, A$441,126), were said to have been cancelled due to financial difficulties.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum vice chair Jon Spencer has stated: “Sadly, we’ve had to wait less than a week for a brutal illustration of why we need this cycle route.” The vice chair of the local cycling group continued: “The road at Clarence Pier is very narrow, very crowded by parked cars and very busy. It is the most popular part of the seafront but at the moment it is a no-go area for cyclists. The city council are obviously happy for this to remain the case.”

This terrible accident is yet another reminder that large vehicles, busy traffic and cyclists are not a happy mix.

John Holland, the chair of the Forum, wrote on PompeyBUG, a local cycling Internet forum: “Portsmouth Cycle Forum is very sad to learn of the death in a road accident of a woman cyclist at Clarence Esplanade on Saturday 17 July. Our thoughts lie with her family and friends to whom send our deepest condolences. The cyclist was involved in collision with a bus in the vicinity of Pier Road and Clarence Esplanade, close to Clarence Pier.

“This terrible accident is yet another reminder that large vehicles, busy traffic and cyclists are not a happy mix. Whilst it will be some time before the details are made public, we urge the Portsmouth City Council to press ahead with making this section of our seafront much safer and calmer for all. Almost exactly one year ago, a cyclist was seriously injured Clarence Esplanade when a car reversed blindly from a parking bay into the road.

“Portsmouth City Council is on the verge of postponing Phase 2 of the Southsea Seafront Cycle Route. Had this been in place yesterday then this awful incident might have been avoided. We urge councillors to think again. A safe and segregated cycle route can be built – one which doesn’t loose any car parking, one which doesn’t stop people looking out to sea from their cars, one which doesn’t involve cycling on the promenade. We will be pushing hard for this – we don’t want any more injuries and fatalities on our seafront roads.”

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