Fatal crash in Wandsworth as TfL strives to crack down on motorcycle accidents with Operation ‘Winchester’

A motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of a road traffic collision in Wandsworth yesterday. 

Police were called to the collision in Battersea Park Road at 1:43pm on Tuesday March 1.

The 49-year-old rider of the motorcycle was pronounced dead at the scene near the junction with Forfar Road in SW11.

Officers believe they know the identity of the man, but await formal identification.

Enquiries are ongoing to establish how the rider of the motorcycle came to lose control of his machine. There has been no arrest.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to call the Collision Investigation Unit at Merton on 020 8543 5157.

The news comes as Transport for London pledge to strengthen the work it carries out to reduce the number of accidents involving motorbike and scooter riders in the Capital.

The number of motorbike and scooter fatalities in London rose from 27 in 2014 to 36 in 2015.

Provisional data also indicates there were 514 serious injuries to motorcyclists and scooter riders in the twelve months ending September 2015, compared with 507 the previous year.

As a result of these figures TfL and the Metropolitan Police Service Roads and Transport Policing Command, which is part-funded by TfL, are stepping up their joint activity, including employing more officers at key motorcycle hotspot junctions where collisions are most likely to occur.

The new initiative is called Operation ‘Winchester’.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “We are stepping up our efforts to improve the safety of motorcyclists on our roads, and the measures we’ve outlined have the potential to make a real difference.

“We need every single motorcyclist to feel safe on our streets and this work is key to that goal.”

Two recent phases of Operation ‘Winchester’, from September to November 2015 and again in January this year, saw enforcement activity stepped up at hotspot locations and at key times across London to help keep motorcyclists and scooter riders safe.

Over these two phases officers stopped 5,389 riders, issued 742 traffic offence reports, 1,335 verbal warnings, seized 96 motorcycles and made 10 arrests.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said: “We are fully committed to making London’s roads safer for all, and with this focus on motorcycle and scooter safety, bringing down the number of collisions involving this vulnerable road user group.

“The three Es – enforcement, education and engineering – are central to this.

“On-street education and enforcement, substantial investment in improving rider skills and guidance to help engineers design roads so that they are safer for riders, all form part of a concerted effort to improve road safety in the Capital.”

Motorbike and scooter safety in any congested city is always going to be a challenge.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, MPS roads and transport policing command, said: “As an organisation the MPS is committed to reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads each year and we work closely with our partners, Transport for London, to achieve this.

“Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable road users and our Motorcycle Safety Team runs operations such as BikeSafe, to raise awareness of rider safety.

“These officers are themselves passionate about motorcycles and are able to explain their own experiences as motorcyclists on London’s roads.

“All road users have a responsibility for road safety and I urge motorcyclists to take advantage of the BikeSafe and ScooterSafe-London to keep themselves and others safe on the roads.”

Image courtesy of Ray Forster, with thanks

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