An esimated 2,000 cyclists lay down in the street outside Transport for London (TfL)’s headquarters this evening, in protest at six cyclist deaths in two weeks.

The ‘die-in’, which was organised via Facebook and flyers handed out on the street, was staged to send a message to TfL, who have been criticised for London’s Cycle Superhighways, notably CS2, on which three of the cyclists were killed.

After cyclists lay down in the road in chilly winds for 15 minutes the names of pedestrians and cyclists killed on London’s roads were read out, along with poetry, music and a speech by the mother of a young girl killed by a lorry in Birmingham two years ago.

Paul Kitson, a CTC Lawyer at solicitors Slater and Gordon said: “I’m here as a mark of respect to people who died and to put pressure on TfL to see what can be done about it. I think it shows that people care and I think the Mayor will take note if votes are on the back of it. I think the cyclist lobby has a huge vote now: there are 570,000 cycle journeys every day in London.”

Cyclist Nick Lawler, at his first protest in adulthood, said while lying in the road: “This is surreal, but I’m here because it could happen to any of us. I’m not a fan of cycle lanes and segregation but something has to be done about the lorries. I think they should be restrictions of HGVs during rush hour – it is a no brainer.”

Andrew Bowman, for whom this was also a first cycle protest, had been given a flyer on his way to work. He said: “We are concerned about cycling safety, we get it every day cycling in massive amounts of traffic and massive lorries and varying amounts of attention paid to cyclists and provision could be better for cyclists, particularly at huge junctions.

“The way this has been organised shows that cyclists are civilised . It shouldn’t be seen as some sort of battle between different types of road users but every day you see examples of confrontation,” he added.

A protest organiser said at the event: “We are building on the work of other campaigns and we are bringing it to TfL’s doors. Stop killing cyclists is just a snappy slogan. This affects everyone, whether they walk cycle or drive and roads should be safe for everyone who uses them.”

Jane Davis, of Lewisham Cyclists, said: “I think TfL needs to radically rethink the way they design their roads. We have got a huge roundabout in Lewisham which they are redesigning; it is just not going to be safe. We think it is a wasted opportunity we think it could be designed the Dutch style but it is more of the same multi lane stuff, cyclists squeezed into ASLs and feeder lanes.”

 

  • Lee

    The car drivers need to be checked regularly if they have a licence. I have been hit twice in one week, and both times the drivers were doing anything else but driving with both hands on the wheel. The first driver was driving whilst reading his newspaper stretched across the wheel and totally misjudged the roundabout, and almost taking me off my bike in the process. The second collision was a driver who didnt brake in time and pushed my back wheel to cause me to push forward into a roundabout with an oncoming vehicle. He didnt apologise and now I am injured with great deal of pain, because of his stupidity. No apology or explanation given!
    Every day nearly every second car the driver is on their mobile phone texting!!
    #Bring back the traffic police! – I am no longer riding my bike after 8 years, as too scared of the idiots in their metal rockets.

  • abc

    Dutch Danes Germans or Swiss wear no hi viz and no helmets, and in places like Copenhagen up to 50% of all journeys are made by bike. Children or elderly people use roads and don’t get killed neither, and all drivers are also cyclists. They have good designers who test bike lanes themselves on bikes before they let the public use them. they have traffic code that give good protection for cyclists and drivers are being trained to behave safely when sharing road with cyclists. This hi viz helmet headphones small talk is a nonsense, what next? should we wrap ourselves in bubble wrap and fit pillows around our necks to be safe? when a majority of drivers don’t even bother to indicate when turning or overtaking… You get much greater volume of people using roads when they cycle, cars steal space in cities and should be kicked out of our streets, so does the politicians who sit in pockets of car and oil industry!

  • Readers

    Bumpers and roads
    May smash our bones
    But the emissions from exhausts
    Will kill us…

  • Andy

    I agree we need extra measure to protect cyclists BUT why are so few wearing hi vis? Give yourself a chance!

  • big A

    It was a great event, very sombre and thoughtful. I spoke with a few around me and we are p&!@ed off that things aren’t changing with any urgency. The folk that have their time running London are always so keen on telling us how great and world beating this city, well it is time to show it in terms of cycling and walking.
    It really is madness that cyclist keep being told how horrendous the vision from an hgv is, well ban them until they can see! It is an idiotic concept from a childs perspective that we have to pander to their inherrent unsuitability to see other road users in the city.
    Many thanks to the organisers, but ultimately i am very sorry to all the families and friends of those cyclists who didn’t get to see London as one of the greatest pedestrian and cyclist friendly cities in the world.

  • Christopher Waller

    Slight copy error, the “57,000 cycle journeys every day in London” is out by an order of magnitude, should be 570,000 IIRC…