Friday, 15 November 2013

5 Londoners killed while cycling in 9 days, and Boris Johnson cowardly blames the victims

If you are reading this you are probably aware that five Londoners have been killed while cycling on our capital's streets in nine days. This is a truly appalling figure, and what is worse is that nearly all the deaths have happened in noted accident hotspots where Londoners have been killed before. To take just one instance, Venera Minakhmetova, 24, is the third Londoner in two years to be killed at Bow Roundabout. Is the key issue, therefore, 'cyclists-jumping-red-lights' or the design of specific killed-junctions? An easy question to answer.

Map of recent deaths, courtesy of the BBC

However, when interviewed on this recent spate of deaths Boris Johnson said cyclists 'must obey the law', implying that these Londoners were killed because they were lawbreaking vandals. This is a vile and cowardly response from Mr Johnson. Errant and irresponsible cyclists do not frequent killer-junctions and roads, such as Holborn and the unsegregated section of CS2, in order to throw themselves under an HGV. People get routinely killed while cycling at these junctions because there is no way to cycle through them safely, because they are fundamentally and criminally dangerous. TfL need to be prosecuted for manslaughter.

If there were a section of tube line, say between Vauxhall and Victoria, where trains habitually derailed killing drivers and passengers, then TfL would close the line and fix it immediately. Yet we have junctions and roads in London were Londoners are continually killed while cycling, and TfL thinks it can wait until 2015 or 2016 (at the earliest) before it does anything to change anything. And instead we're told by Andrew Gilligan, 'well, all the other tube lines are safe so how dangerous can taking the tube really be!'. Just because there are quieter roads in London and some half-decent cycle provision doesn't mean TfL should let roads like Holborn gyratory continue to kill people. They know where the problems are. There are specific streets and roads that are incredibly dangerous and these need to be fundamentally changed.

Announcements are all well and good, but we need to change now, before even more innocent Londoners are killed for doing something that the Mayor, TfL, and all London borough councils are actively encouraging them to do.

Please TAKE ACTION NOW and email TfL and the Mayor asking them to prevent further deaths. Just click this link to go the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) page.

Also, do please consider joining the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) if you aren't already a member. They are the only organisation in London that is consistently pushing Boris Johnson to give us continental standards of cycle safety. They are the primary reason the BBC ran a story today on 'Calls for action over cycle deaths in London'. They deserve everyone's support.

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