After a horrific run of crashes in which five cyclists died on London’s roads in nine days, London cyclists are taking action both on line and in real life. A ‘Save Our Cyclists’ petition calling on London mayor Boris Johnson to take urgent action is rapidly approaching 20,000 signatures after just 24 hours, and a ‘die-in’ protest and vigil has been organised for November 29 at Transport for London headquarters.
The die-in protest will start at 5pm on Friday November 29 with a vigil for the cyclists who have died on London’s roads outside Transport for London HQ at 197 Blackfriars Road. That will be followed at 5.30 by the die-in and rally, before the event ends at 6.30.
“Transport for London needs our peaceful protest to be brought right to their door - the HQ of those who have failed to make our streets safe for our children or our pensioners to cycle on, never mind fit adults,” say event organisers.
“Cycling safety needs to be top of TfL's priorities, as should befit a 21st century city looking for ways to tackle congestion and pollution. If Crossrail was predicted to kill 120 workers during its construction, work would be halted immediately. Cyclists are just as important.”
The full details are on the event’s Facebook page.
Addressed to Boris Johnson and his cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan, the Save our Cyclists petition on 38degrees asks: “Where is your sense of urgency?”
Petition creator Rhiannon Redpath wrote: “We call on Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan to vastly accelerate their plan for expenditure of the £913 million cycling fund, by releasing an accurate, costed and time-bound plan for how the fund will address cycle safety over the next 12 months, from the end of December 2013.
“TFL and the Mayor for London do have the right idea. But, as plans are drawn up, consultations are carried out, and meetings are had, London’s roads continue to be unsafe, and cyclists are losing their lives.
“We are calling for urgent action from Boris Johnson and the Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan to accelerate their plans, and to be clear about their intentions for cycle safety in London.”
Launched yesterday, the petition hit 10,000 signatures within hours and is now racing toward 20,000.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.