St Thomas’ Hospital spent thousands to stop protected cycle lane

News Desk (20 October, 2016) Columnists

Tommies, we love you BUT on this issue, you are on the side of lethal cars and trucks

11037News columnist Donnachadh McCarthy

St Thomas’s NHS Hospital is one of Southwark residents’ most loved institutions. It has saved countless local lives, writes Donnachadh McCarthy…

Hence the anger at the news that it had spent £10,000 in legal fees trying to block the layout of the new protected cycle-lane that Transport for London (TfL) are building on Westminster Bridge.

Safety campaigners James Avery and Tom Kearney found out through FOI requests, that the hospital had zero scientific evidence for its claim that the protected cycle bus-stop by-pass would be dangerous.

This column asked Tommies some further questions.

Did they know how many cyclists had been killed or injured on the approach roads to the hospital? They did not.

There have been 315 cyclists injured or killed over the last decade there. Outside the main entrance alone, four cyclists had life-changing horrific crashes and one was killed.

Nationally only one person was killed by a cyclist in the last 4 years on ALL UK pavements.

Did the hospital know the level of lethal transport pollution outside the hospital? They did not.

Pollution maps shows it is one of London’s most polluted sites regularly breaking EU safety limits.

Whilst not a single person was killed by cyclists, hundreds of Southwark residents are killed every year from transport pollution and inactivity diseases caused by lack of protected cycle lanes.

The new cycle-route will narrow this busy road for pedestrians making it safer.

It will push the lethal pollution farther away from the pavement, which scientists say radically reduces amount breathed in by pedestrians.

The protected bus-stop bypass will enable staff, patients, children and pensioners to leave the hospital by bike in a far safer way, as the key danger is when overtaking at the bus stop, when forced into path of trucks and buses.

If you feel Tommies should not be wasting taxpayers’ money on opposing protected cycle lanes and bus-stops, let them know politely at pals@gstt.nhs.uk.

Tommies, we love you BUT on this issue, you are on the side of lethal cars and trucks passing your front door, when you should be saving lives.

Update on last month’s column: Reader reports the Post Office on Southampton Way now sells organic milk, eggs & bread.

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