1. ITV Report

Cyclist fatally hit mum while riding bike with no front brake

A cyclist who mowed down a mother-of-two could have avoided her if he had a front brake attached to his Olympics-style bike, a court was told today.

Charlie Alliston, 20, arrives at the Old Bailey

Charlie Alliston, 20, crashed into Kim Briggs, 44, on his bike on February 12 last year, the Old Bailey heard.

Investigators carried out tests using his bike, and found the stopping distance was roughly four times more than a conventional pedal cycle, jurors were told.

Kim Briggs

Edward Small, a forensic collision investigator with the Met Police, said:

The tests show that using a fixed wheel cycle with a front brake cuts the stopping distance.

He would have been able to stop at the available distance and avoid the collision in time.

– Edward Small, Met Police
Fixed wheel track bicycle allegedly ridden by Charlie Alliston

He said Alliston was cycling at an average speed of 18mph along Old Street, central London.

Alliston was between 6.5 and 9.5m from Mrs Briggs. He had slowed down to between ten and 14mph before the collision, but was unable to stop in time, jurors were told.

In one set of tests, investigators found a conventional bike with brakes could be stopped at about 3m.

But, referring to Alliston's bike, prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said:

The minimum stopping distance you achieved was 12m.

– Duncan Penny QC, prosecutor

Tests were also carried out in wet conditions on a fixed wheel bike with a front brake, travelling at 15-16mph, which could still be stopped within 4.8-5.6m, it was said.

When police seized Alliston's bike, they found the wheels had been changed, the officer said.

He had changed the wheels, and the original wheels were also taken with the cycle.

When the first tests were carried out, it was with the wheels that Mr Alliston had put on to the cycle. For the second set of tests, we had the original wheels back on.

– Edward Small, Met Police

Videos were shown of the tests carried out at Redbridge Cycling Centre in April last year.

Widower Matthew Briggs sat in the well of the court as the footage was played.

Under cross examination, Mark Wyeth QC, defending, asked:

Is there much consciousness about this requirement, as far as you are aware, amongst cyclists in London?

– Mark Wyeth QC, defence

Certainly as a traffic officer I have always been aware cyclists need brakes. I don't recall having ever seen a Planet X bike on the road.

– Edward Small, Met Police

Alliston, of Bermondsey, south east London, denies manslaughter, and causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving. The trial continues.