Die-in & draw-in protest at London's Elephant & Castle next week after cyclist's death

Stop Killing Cyclists takes action after latest fatality in capital

by Simon_MacMichael   May 15, 2014  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

The protest group Stop Killing Cyclists is organising a protest at Elephant & Castle next Wednesday – the eve of local elections in London – following the death of a cyclist there earlier this week.

The 47-year-old male rider, who was killed in a collision with a lorry on Tuesday afternoon, has not yet been officially named. He is the fifth cyclist to die in the capital this year.

The driver of the lorry involved, a 49-year-old man, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of causing death by careless driving.

Stop Killing Cyclists is urging people attending next Wednesday’s protest, at the Southern Roundabout Plaza, to bring green and white chalk with them so that they can draw on the road surface a cycle lane that they say Southwark Council and Transport for London “should be installing immediately.”

There will also be a ‘die-in’ on the route of the cycle lane they are seeking. A Facebook page for the event, which will take place from 5.30-6.30pm next Wednesday 21 May, has been set up here.

The group’s co-founder, Donnachadh McCarthy, said: “The carnage from trucks horrendously killing cyclists at Left-Hand-Turns has got to stop. Southwark, TfL and the other London Boroughs need to urgently install safe protected turns at junctions across London urgently, where there is sufficient space for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Stop Killing Cyclists are so frustrated at the lack of action, that we will ourselves on Wednesday draw in green and white chalk the route of a protected junction cycle by-pass that Southwark and TfL lethally left out of the recent multi-million refurbishment of the southern Elephant junction.

“Alongside the chalked cycle-lane, we will also stage a Die-In to represent the hundreds of London pedestrians and cyclists being killed unnecessarily on our City’s roads. We welcome all road users to the protest. “

Stop Killing Cyclists was set up last November, when six cyclists lost their lives in London in the space of a fortnight, its first direct action being a die-in staged outside TfL’s offices in Southwark, where 1,500 cyclists protested about the lack of funding in safe cycling in the capital.

In February, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, announcing 33 junctions where £300 million will be spent to improve cycle safety, said Elephant & Castle - in terms of the number of injuries, the most dangerous for bike riders in the city - is“intimidating” for cylists.

But in November 2011,he was criticised for saying, “if you keep your wits about you, Elephant & Castle is perfectly negotiable" for cyclists.

TfL has unveiled a radical remodelling of the junction, but in March, London Cycling Campaign called on its members to reject the proposals, saying that they “fail to provide safe passage for cyclists.”

We regret we are unable to accept comments on this story.