Grieving family demands road safety improvement after lorry death on Peckham High Street


The family of a man killed by a lorry as he tried to cross a busy town centre road have called for swifter safety measures there.

Family of Peter Allingham, from Peckham want to see Peckham Town Centre Safety Pilot implemented as soon as possible.

An inquest into the death of the 74-year-old concluded he died on September 4, 2017 after being struck by a 32 tonne, high cabbed, tipper lorry, trying to cross Peckham High Street.

Peter was well known in Peckham, serving 30 years as barman and assistant secretary of the Peckham Liberal Club.

He also ran pubs in Soho and Whitehall in the 1970s and was an avid Viking enthusiast.

The inquest into his death took place at Southwark Coroner’s Court on November 1, 2019.

Peter’s family were keen to understand more about his death, especially when they learned that another pedestrian, Mary O’Leary, had been killed following a collision involving a HGV close to the spot where he had died, two years earlier.

Transport for London, at the inquest said in 2014, Peckham Town Centre was identified as one of two “Pedestrian Town Centre Safety Pilots”, because of deaths and serious injuries there.

But five years on, the scheme is only just nearing the end of its “conceptual design stage”.

Peter’s sister, Dawn Francois, who lives in Australia, said: “Peter and I had just been reunited, after we lost touch when I moved to Australia.

We had regular chats about anything and everything. Peter had a funny sense of humour and had planned to visit me in Australia.

“Sadly this was not to be. He is greatly missed by friends and family and I am sorry that I did not get to see him again.

“I very much hope the plans to make Peckham safer for pedestrians are implemented so that lives are not cut tragically short and other families do not have to suffer sudden bereavement as we have.”

Katherine Wilkinson, personal injury solicitor at Leigh Day, who represented Peter’s family at the inquest, said: “The inquest found that Peter’s death was due to a road traffic collision.

“While this was always the most likely outcome, the process enabled Peter’s family to gain more information about the circumstances of his tragic death.

Between 2015 and 2017, HGVs were disproportionately involved in 25 per cent of pedestrian fatalities and 63 per cent of cyclist fatalities on London’s streets, despite only making up 4 per cent of the miles driven in the capital.

“We welcome Transport for London’s HGV Safety Permit Scheme, together with their plans to make changes to Peckham Town Centre layout, but the changes are long overdue, and we urge that the Pedestrian Town Centre Safety Scheme is prioritised and put in place as soon as possible.”

Transport for London also provided information on their Heavy Goods Vehicle Safety Permit Scheme, which first came in to place on October 26, 2019, and will be a voluntary scheme until October 26, 2020.

The Permit Scheme rates HGVs using a star system, from zero (lowest) to five (highest), based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab window, and taking into account the risk to people walking and cycling.

It aims to encourage vehicle designs that enable drivers to see pedestrians and cyclists directly, rather than having to rely on mirrors or devices.

Stuart Reid, Director of Vision Zero at TfL, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Peter Allingham, who was tragically killed whilst crossing Peckham High Street. Every death on London’s streets is one too many and safety is always our top priority when making changes on our roads.

“We continue to work on a scheme to reduce danger in Peckham Town Centre as part of our Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury on London’s roads. Proposed upgrades include wider pavements, improved pedestrian crossings and reduced speed limits. The engineering scheme in Peckham has been extremely complex to develop, however we remain committed to improving safety there and will be consulting the public on a design early in the new year, with a view to starting work following public feedback.”

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