Concerns have been raised about lorries using narrow residential roads during rush hour after a 14-year-old schoolgirl died in New Malden last week.
Lavna Chuttoo was killed in Lime Grove at the junction with Coombe Road while walking with friends to Coombe Girls’ School on Tuesday, November 17. The driver of the lorry stopped and was not arrested.
David Hoddinott, 63, of Ely Close, said: “The Lime Grove junction with Coombe Road is particularly bad as you have to be aware of traffic entering and leaving Lime Grove and Cambridge Avenue.
“I avoid driving in New Malden High Street and surrounding areas at busy times of day as it is usually just too congested. A drastic rethink is needed very quickly if we want to avoid further tragedies.”
Tony Scott is boss of the New Malden branch of builders’ merchant Travis Perkins, which sees heavy goods vehicles drive into its site, near the junction at Lime Grove, where Lavna was hit.
He said: “It was not speed that caused that. I don’t know what they can do about it to be honest. It’s not safe, people just turn into it [Lime Grove] not necessarily looking.
“It’s very busy along here at that time of morning. There’s schools around here so there’s a lot of schoolchildren about.”
Heavy goods vehicles without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians were banned throughout Greater London under Transport for London’s first safer lorry scheme in September.
The day after Lavna was killed, London Cycling Campaign handed a petition containing 13,000 signatures to London mayor Boris Johnson calling on the mayor to further the scheme and “end lorry danger”.
The petition calls for a rush hour ban, “direct vision” lorries and stronger enforcement.
Lavna parents paid tribute to their "princess" last week
Kingston and Surbiton MP James Berry said: “I can certainly see that heavy goods vehicles do pose a greater risk than cars do both to pedestrians and cyclists. I can see the case for banning them and I will be discussing it with Transport for London.”
Bob Reid, 56, of Buxton Drive, New Malden, said: “I’ve been driving for 40 something years. No heavy goods vehicle is going to use the back roads purely as a cut through. They are there for a delivery.
“That sort of thing doesn’t get delivered in a smart car.”
Lavna’s funeral will be held today, Friday, November 27 at St James Church, in Bodley Road from 10.30am with all welcome to attend.
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