Mum calls for speed camera where her 10-year-old son was knocked down by hit-and-run motorcyclist in Catford

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

A concerned mum is calling for the installation of a speed camera where her son was rammed into by a hit-and-run motorcyclist in Ravensbourne Park Road in Catford.

On June 23, the day before his 10th birthday, Tanya Manuell’s son was coming home from school with his sister when he started to walk over the pedestrian zebra crossing by the top of Ladywell Fields while pushing his bike.

A van waited for the pair, who live nearby, but as soon as the young boy started to cross, a moped rider overtook the van and slammed into the front of his bike, knocking him to the ground.

His sister, who was just behind him, called out to warn him when she heard the engine, and the instant’s hesitation meant the moped didn’t slam into his body.

The moped driver responsible sped off without stopping, and while another motorcyclist followed him to try to get his registration, he couldn’t catch up.

The family has been told it is unlikely the driver will be found, despite efforts from police, who said they needed at least a partial registration to investigate further.

No homes nearby with CCTV managed to catch the registration.

The driver of the van jumped out to help and told the boy’s sister to ring her parents, while an ambulance was also called.

Mum Tanya, a teacher, was on her way back from work when she got the call, during which her daughter said her brother may have broken his leg.

She said: “When I cycled up the hill towards the pedestrian crossing I could see the flashing lights of the ambulance

“The van driver was really kind, as were all the passers-by.

“A lot of people came and helped, one woman offered a bottle of water, there was a ring of people who were helping them.”

Her son was “sore, badly bruised, and unable to walk initially,” but his leg was not broken and he is now moving around with ease.

Tanya, who initially wanted to have CCTV installed but now believes a speed camera would be better, praised everyone who helped her children and were “so kind”.

She said: “You get really disappointed in an individual’s actions and then you’re paid back 10-fold by the goodwill of others.

“Everyone who came to the scene, they couldn’t have been more caring or more concerned. The two female paramedics were also really great.”

One of the comments she received on her petition to Lewisham council was a suggestion that a better use of council money would be a speed camera.

She said: “That would mean that drivers would abide by the 20mph limit and, if they didn’t, they would be traceable and could be fined – then the council could afford the speed camera.

“I’m really surprised at the response to the petition – very quickly people began to sign up, and when I read the comments it was evident that a lot of people felt strongly about road safety.

“If we keep in mind that the Government message at the moment is to walk and cycle as much as possible, it’s really important that other users of the road are keeping in mind that there will be more foot traffic.

The council is considering the issue and preparing a response.

Pictured top: A reconstruction of the aftermath of the incident, which police hoped would jog people’s minds


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