Campaigners demand action over London's "death mile"

April death of young woman latest in series of incidents

by Mark Appleton   July 22, 2011  

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

Transport for London (TfL) has been asked to act over a stretch of road in the capital dubbed by cycle campaigners the “death mile,” reports the Camden New Journal.

Cyclist Paula Jurek, 20, died on Camden Road in April and cycle campaigners are determined to ensure her death does not simply become another forgotten statistic. They are repeating calls for new safety measures to be introduced to reduce accidents at a place recognised by TfL themselves as one of Camden’s worst accident black spots.

Over the past three years ten cyclists have been involved in incidents in the area.
Local councillors have accused TfL of “dragging their feet” over the implementation of safety improvements and are working of a cross-party basis in a bid to force some action.

A petition, championed by Lib Dem Councillor Paul Braithwaite and Labour ward councillors Angela Mason and Phil Jones, accuses TfL of being more concerned about the free flow of buses rather than road safety.

The petition says: “More than three months on, TfL, who control this main road, show no signs of acting. Deplorably, TfL has never implemented the improved safety measures proposed as a result of the big consultation exercise in 2005. They appear more concerned for the speed of their buses than for public safety. The accident record on Camden Road is very poor.”

Paul Dean, a friend of Ms Jurek’s says he is disappointed at the lack of action taken since her death. He said: “Cycle safety does not feel like the priority that TfL and [Mayor of London] Mr [Boris] Johnson claim it is. I think the Camden Road situation is another example of both Mr Johnson and TfL failing to get things done and failing to follow up on their plans.”

Catherine Hays, chairwoman of the Camden Square Neighbourhood Association, also expressed her frustration at the failure to address longstanding safety concerns.

She said : “This has been an ongoing problem for as long as I’ve lived here, which is 15 years.

“We have done everything a good neighbourhood should do – we engaged in consultation, went on walkabouts. None of the recommendations have been implemented and in the meantime lives have been lost.”

A Transport for London spokesperson said:

“TfL is currently working towards making improvements to the junction of Camden Road and St Pancras Way, which will particularly benefit both cyclists and pedestrians. These will provide additional pedestrian crossing facilities and advanced stop lines for cyclists to gain an advantage in general traffic when stationery.

“The proposals are currently being discussed and progressed through TfL’s internal approval processes. If approved, TfL intends to begin working to deliver these improvements from autumn 2011.”
 

5 user comments

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The convergence of 2 racetrack roads with traffic flows turning around a messy series of gyratory loops that start at the North end of Eversholt St (Mornington Crescent) and the East side connection to Midland Road buses and commercial traffic flying everywhere and crap road surfaces to steer around the potholes.

Some less than clever footway cycle lanes dump you out at Camden Road Station. Pedestrianise with bus and cycle only Camden High Street, 2-way traffic on parallel route, for access only. Main traffic via Caledonian Road or Park Road/Baker Street will regulate down through removal of road space

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [483 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 16:27

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TfL are rubbish at tackling safety issues in my experience. I've been pushing TfL to sort out a dangerous crossing near where I live. They're extremely lax and basically trying to save costs by doing nothing until a bodybag proves they're (not very) experts are wrong.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2202 posts]
23rd July 2011 - 23:08

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OldRidgeback wrote:
TfL are rubbish at tackling safety issues in my experience. I've been pushing TfL to sort out a dangerous crossing near where I live. They're extremely lax and basically trying to save costs by doing nothing until a bodybag proves they're (not very) experts are wrong.

Yes, and I've been complaining constantly about tfl busses infringing on ASLs. Unfortunately all tfl seem to think necessary is the forwarding of such complaints to the bus depots concerned when they should be dealing with this endemic problem at a much higher level. I've had better responses by speaking personally with depot managers than anything from tfl. Complacent isn't the word!

TiNuts's picture

posted by TiNuts [93 posts]
25th July 2011 - 16:03

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The trouble is TfL is filled with unreformed motor traffic planners who haven't realised (or more likely won't accept) the world has changed. For evidence all you need to do is look at this and what is happening on Blackfriar's Bridge. Its time someone in TfL went through Traffic Planning to sweep out all the dinosaurs and get some new blood in that wasn't trained in the "car is king" era.

posted by Tony [66 posts]
25th July 2011 - 16:40

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Having done a bit of cycle training, recently, which taught me not to filter down the inside of traffic, I have to wonder why traffic planners nearly always put the cycle lane down the nearside of traffic!

posted by Redrenojohn [9 posts]
25th July 2011 - 18:56

4 Likes