Stop Killing Cyclists yesterday held a vigil and ‘die-in’ to remember Ying Tao, a 26-year-old woman killed while riding her bike in London. Hundreds of cyclists, including Tao’s husband, brought rush hour traffic to a standstill at the spot outside the Bank of England where she was crushed by a lorry on Monday June 22.
Ying Tao was the eighth person riding a bike to have been killed on London’s roads this year, the sixth woman and the seventh killed by a lorry. The vigil was also in memory of 60-year-old Clifton James, who was killed while cycling in Harrow on Sunday June 21.
The junction at which the vigil was held features seven major and two minor roads merging. Stop Killing Cyclists say there is ‘absolutely no sensible provision for cyclists’ and that even pedestrians are poorly catered for.
A bike officer from City of London Police has described the junction as “probably the most dangerous in London” for cyclists and Donnachadh McCarthy of Stop Killing Cyclists went further, telling the London Evening Standard that it was ‘murderous’.
"Tonight cyclists have sent London's Mayor a huge dignified silent roar from the heart of the City saying 'close this murderous junction and spend 10 per cent of the transport budget on cyclist safety'."
One of the protestors, Ollie Cartmell from Barnet, who works in a running shop near Bank station, echoed that appraisal in describing the road layout as ‘unnecessarily poor’. “But the thing is, there are so many junctions like this in London," he added.
This was the seventh vigil and die-in organised by Stop Killing Cyclists this year. Amy Everard, an events officer for an environmental charity, said:
"This is the first one I've been to. I wanted to come because I cycle myself every day and absolutely love it, but you have to have your wits about you.
"It's a shame the government and local councils seem to disregard the safety of cyclists. I get annoyed about people who blame cyclists and lorry drivers I think it's about everyone working together to make the infrastructure better for everyone."
Stop Killing Cyclists are calling for compulsory CCTV for all tipper trucks and HGVs to eliminate blind spots; a ban on tipper trucks in London during peak periods; and for Transport for London and City of London to allocate 10 per cent of transport budget to cycling infrastructure.