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Cyclist's Death Leads to Protests

20 May 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
The latest death of a cyclist at London’s Elephant & Castle roundabout saw a mass protest at the weekend (as part of a previously organised event) with Mayor Boris Johnson coming in for more flak.

The protest coincided with the Big Ride - an event that saw thousands of Londoners take to the city streets to have fun and call for safe streets for the growing band of people cycling for health and cycling to work. (See report below taken from the London Cycling Campaign's website with thanks.)

The controversial roundabout saw the death last week of a 47 year old man following the collision with a lorry. He was the fifth cyclist to be killed in London this year at a site which has been heavily criticised for its safety aspects. (14 people died last year, nine in collisions with HGVs.) A 49 year old lorry driver was arrested at the scene and held in custody on the allegation that he had caused a death by dangerous driving.

Cyclist groups had called for a day of protest for this week but no further news is yet to materialise - the feeling is that the weekend has calmed anger. On a Facebook page organisers had stated they wanted to mark the tragedy and to protest at the continued total failure by Southwark Council and TfL to install emergency protected by-passes at dangerous junctions such as the Elephant, we will draw in Green and White Chalk the protected cycle lane that Southwark and Transport for London (TfL) should be installing immediately.’

“This whole area is notorious for the serious danger it presents to people on bicycles because of the high volumes of lorries and other motor vehicles that pass through,” explained Charlie Lloyd, London Cycling Campaign.

The principal cause of problems was the sharing of space at junctions like this, he argued. London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has been taking flak for his perceived unwillingness to take immediate action where there are ‘hot spots’.


Big Ride - Space for Cycling

Glorious sunshine, a host of smiling children, relaxed parents, thousands of ordinary Londoners enjoying the luxury of riding through central London without the fear of motor traffic – the Space for Cycling Big Ride on Saturday 17 May 2014 was a fabulous success.  

London Cycling Campaign Chief Executive Ashok Sinha said, “We owe a debt of gratitude to the thousands who joined us today on our Space for Cycling Big Ride, helping to send a powerful message to London's politicians. Our city and borough leaders can be in no doubt as to the hunger there is from ordinary Londoners for streets that are safe and inviting for everyone to cycle.

“A special thanks must go to the hundreds of volunteers who helped make the day such a success, without whom we couldn’t have made the Space for Cycling Big Ride happen.

“So far, over 2500 local election candidates have backed our 629 ward-specific Space for Cycling measures to improve local streets for cycling, so now it’s time to see the action and funding that match the desires of Londoners.”

The crowd of 5000 Londoners, seemingly representing every age, background and area of the city soaked up the fabulous weather in central London on the Big Ride, organised by the London Cycling Campaign.

Early reports from the other rides in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield are of an excellent turn-out with the city campaigns uniting behind the London Cycling Campaign's Space for Cycling platform.

Hundreds of riders came into central London on our the 30 guided rides from all corners of the capital, with others coming from as far afield as Cambridge, Coventry and Wales.

At one point the ride, taking place on traffic-free streets, stretched from Park Lane all the way to Piccadilly Circus, with more people still arriving.

Mark Ames from iBikeLondon and Jack Thurston from Resonance FM's Bike Show entertained the crowd at the start line, as the thousands of people basked in the sunshine on Park Lane.

The start was delayed slightly while more people arrived, with the procession departing to a huge cheer at 12.15pm.

Locals and tourists lining the route clapped and photographed the vibrant crowd of cyclists, and took full advantage of the traffic-free streets themselves.

35 marshalled pedestrian crossings all along the route ensured passers-by could cross the ride quickly and safely.

The ride passed through Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, finishing on the Embankment where a rally took place before an open-topped bus.

A crew of paramedic cyclists took part in the event, but no serious injuries were reported.

The London Cycling Campaign thanks again the hundreds of volunteers who helped marshal the event, along with the officers from the Metropolitan Police Cycle Task force.

The #BigRide and #Space4cycling hashtags trended on Twitter, such was the buzz all of the UK for the Space for Cycling events.

The London Cycling Campaign is a charity, whose work is funded by our members, donations and supporters. Please make a donation if you can to support our work making London's streets safe and inviting for everyone to cycle.

Thanks to our Space for Cycling sponsors - Evans Cycles, the Dutch National Embassy, and the Bicycle Association of Great Britain - without whom the Space for Cycling Big Ride could not have taken place.

And, last but not least, thanks to the Tweed Run, which also took place in central London today, for making us their charity of the year and supporting our Space for Cycling campaign.


Pictured: Mayor Boris Johnson has been criticised for not acting fast enough over cycling deaths in London and a protest will be held next week at the Elephant & Castle roundabout where the latest fatality occurred

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 20 May 2014


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