Saturday 13 July 2013

Green Party supports 'Space for Bicycles' campaign after latest road deaths

From Natalie Bennett's blog: LINK

There was a mood of sadness, but also determination, at two events in London tonight marking recent road deaths in which vulnerable road users were killed by lorries.

First, outside City Hall, Roadpeace with the Lorry Danger group (also including LCC, CTC, British Cycling and Living Streets) held a vigil acknowledging the death of an elderly pedestrian, who hasn't been named, in Fulham. (Short report here) and the death of cyclist Philippine de Gerin-Ricard on Cycle Superhighway 2 outside Aldgate East station.

It was a brief but moving ceremony at which the names of many recent pedestrian and cycle road victims were read out.

The organisers are vowing that they will return to City Hall on Friday at 5pm in any week in which a cyclist or pedestrian is killed on London's roads - sadly I fear it may not be long before they have to return.
National statistics show a steady trend in increasing cycle deaths and injuries, as do those in London.

The second event was organised by the London Cycling Campaign - around 400 cyclists gathered at Tower Bridge and cycled past the site where Philippine de Gerin-Ricard was killed, chanting "Blue Paint is Not Enough", in reference to the limitations of Boris Johnson's cycle "superhighway" scheme.

LCC ride
Some passing cyclists joined the ride as it took the short route - there was a lot of support also from passers-by.

Earlier in the day, in the West End, I'd had seen an awful brush with potential tragedy. A private small rubbish lorry, driven by a man who seemed to be either in a temper or a huge rush, came at undue speed around the corner of Old Compton Street into Dean Street, over-ran a parking space, then reversed into it at speed, stopping inches before an elderly man who was crossing the street, as I and several other people in the vicinity yelled out. If it hadn't been summer and his window open, I doubt he would have stopped.

It's the kind of incident that's almost commonplace - it as one speaker at the vigil said, we need to be aiming towards zero deaths on the road. We won't get that without serious changes in infrastructure, a lot more driver education,and enforcement.

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