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Three cyclists and two pedestrians have died in the capital in the last week

Hundreds of cyclists took to London’s streets this weekend to stage a ‘die-in’ protest following three cyclist deaths in the space of a week.

On a day when another collision resulted in a female cyclist being seriously injured in Brixton, south London, the protesters wheeled their bikes from Parliament to the Treasury to campaign for more funding for safer cycling.

The riders lay on the wet pavement outside the Treasury for a one-minute silence.

Co-founder of campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists Donnachadh McCarthy told the BBC: "We have had enough of the breadcrumbs - we need real spending.

"We have had two tiny superhighways built, but they have been a huge success.

"They are the germs of a revolution which should spread all across London."

Nine cyclists died in London in 2016.

Protesters called for the budget for cycling and walking to be extended to 10% of the annual transport budget.

A number of campaigners also wore gas masks, a reference to the heavily polluted air of the capital and other major British cities.

One sign read: "We are all canaries in London's toxic air."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are committed to reducing the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured."

It added that it would spend "£300m on cycling funding in this Parliament" and more than £7bn improving road surfaces.

Meanwhile, a female cyclist remains seriously injured in hospital after being involved in a crash with a motorcycle in south London.

The female cyclist in her 30s was hit by the motorbike on Brixton Hill yesterday afternoon.

She was taken to a south London hospital.

The motorcyclist - a man in his 40s - suffered minor injuries and said he did not need to go to hospital.

The crash comes after a week of carnage on London's roads in which cyclists Ben Wales and Karla Roman, both 32, and Anita Szucs, 30, died in the space of just four days.

Two pedestrians, a man and a woman who have not been identified, were also killed in seperate crashes in Limehouse and Euston this week.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

11 comments

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Ramuz [236 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

What if the Tories were deliberately trying to discourage cycling, just as they are deliberately trying to destroy the solar energy sector and deliberately trying to wreck our National Health Service?

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Housecathst [574 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Their determined to destroy the economy too

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FluffyKittenofT... [1553 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Ramuz wrote:

What if the Tories were deliberately trying to discourage cycling, just as they are deliberately trying to destroy the solar energy sector and deliberately trying to wreck our National Health Service?

I don't think 'cycling' is an issue the Tories are sufficiently united about so as to have such a policy. Labourites certainly aren't in any way uniformly pro-cycling either. Just look at the sheer number of Labour politicians, or left-leaning journalists, who come out with complete crap over the issue.

I mean, Khan doesn't, so far, seem to be better than Boris on the topic (I'm starting to think think he should be renamed "Khan't", given how timid he seems to be about everything - probably because he is pinned by his fear of picking a fight with anyone with power on any issue)

Its true though that there seems to be a very particular sub-set of right-wingers for whom bicycle clips are seen as symbols of communism. I really don't understand why that is. Something about cars being a means of expressing dominance for a certain kind of person.

I reckon most of that type are on the UKIP-leaning side of the Tories.

Edit - maybe its to do with the whole 'aspirational' symbolism of the car that makes it so important that nothing should ever get in its way, for certain kinds of Tory? The really posh ones seem far less threatened by bicycles.

The depressing thing is the kind of unimpeded 'freedom' to go anywhere, at any speed, and park anywhere, they think they are entitled to, is self-contradictory and impossible to achieve.

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beezus fufoon [648 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

 ...Edit - maybe its to do with the whole 'aspirational' symbolism of the car that makes it so important that nothing should ever get in its way, for certain kinds of Tory? The really posh ones seem far less threatened by bicycles.  ...

it's interesting you put ideology over economics here - it may well be that the really posh ones are already minted and so less easily swayed by monetary incentives from the motor industry

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MamilMan [49 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

I don't know that a 'die-in' is a solution.

 

I do know that if 100% of an MP's surgery time (and by that I man an MP of any and hopefully every party) was being monopolised by cyclists complaining about specific safety issues within that constituancy then something would get done about it double quick time. 

 

I don't know how many of those people on the floor have taken their MP to task but I recommend it. It works, but it really works well when many people turn up individually and say the same thing - and I don't mean moaning. I mean turning up with factual evidence of issues and problems. Better still, turn up with solutions to those problems and you are more likely to see how people power works. 

Lying down on the pavement isn't people power. It's the kind of thing an attention seeker does and MP's of all flavours tend to ignore that.

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Leviathan [2475 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

So is it short sleeved jersey weather in London already? Can we protest about global warming too.

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Crashboy [43 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

"A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are committed to reducing the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured." "

Seriously?  He needs to spend some time pedalling around the places I go in Cambridgshire and Lincolnshire then: speeding, taking roundabouts too fast, no signals, overtaking on corners, and deliberately swerving in towards cyclists for a laugh (even when going the opposite direction to them!) is common in my experience.

In terms of the road surfaces, I think deprived cities in third world countries have better quality road surfaces that where I live: without even factoring in the lunatic driving, the actual road surfaces themselves are unfit for riding on in many places near me, and create a major hazard to safe transportation of any kind, but particularly for cyclists , pedestrians and those with wheelchairs / mobility scooters or pushchairs/prams etc.

 

 

 

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ktache [475 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

We are told we only represent 1-2% transport modal share.  So what about 1% of the transport budget.  £37 Billion total, 1% is £370 million.  A year.  Not the £60 million a year described for cycling.  Not that it will ever get to that, I reckon that might be active travel, which somehow includes buses and carshare.

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davel [1138 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
MamilMan wrote:

I don't know that a 'die-in' is a solution....

StopKillingCyclists don't limit themselves to die-ins. There is much more to their campaigning, including, as you mention, direct communication with MPs, and encouraging followers to do the same.

Lying down in front of Parliament tends to get more media attention than rational discussion, though. It's a campaign that requires battles on many fronts.

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WillRod [160 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
davel wrote:
MamilMan wrote:

I don't know that a 'die-in' is a solution....

StopKillingCyclists don't limit themselves to die-ins. There is much more to their campaigning, including, as you mention, direct communication with MPs, and encouraging followers to do the same.

Lying down in front of Parliament tends to get more media attention than rational discussion, though. It's a campaign that requires battles on many fronts.

Lying on the pavement and die-ins gives media exposure, which allows SKC to actually voice their opinion on tv and radio. Trying to get airtime to talk about cycling is hard unless you are Chris Boardman, and even then he is generally ignored by the dodgiest of drivers that worship Clarkson et al.

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emishi55 [124 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
MamilMan wrote:

I don't know that a 'die-in' is a solution.

.......

Lying down on the pavement isn't people power. It's the kind of thing an attention seeker does and MP's of all flavours tend to ignore that.

It's not a solution. It's part of a means to a solution. That's what protest is.

I like your idea of organising an en masse group of individuals to apply pressure at MP's surgeries 

but there've been three cyclists and two pedestrians killed this week. There's a time for meeting MPs and there's a time for drawing attention to the unacceptable state of the routes we're supposed to get around on.  

The Dutch won their cycling network through doing this kind of thing and more besides.

Their chief cause was 'Stop The Child Murder' - ours is as more about Stop The Slow Child Death and Child Deprivation as much as anything else.

Given that we're still 40 years behind the Netherlands, and with with Sadiq having spent nearly a year on...errrm..employing a new Cycling & Walking Commissioner, I'm wondering what other directions protest may need to move in (that's if this new Commissioner turns out to be a little less experienced in the winning of essential battles with mobs of self-entitled car-ists...

which I'm sure he won't be...!!)