It's now two and a half weeks since Transport for London hoped to soothe anger within the London cycling community by announcing a review of our most dangerous junctions, the cycle superhighway schemes, and Bow roundabout, where two cyclists have recently been killed in quick succession.
Cyclists, family members and local politicians hold vigil at Bow roundabout
Since then an all too familiar scenario has been played out on the Tower Bridge Road in South London; another female cyclist has lost her life on our roads after a collision with a lorry at a junction which campaigners have previously identified as being dangerous. Eleanor Carey, 22, from the island of Guernsey is the 16th London cyclist to be killed this year; six more than in 2010 and double the amount killed in 2008.
The initial announcement regarding the review of Bow roundabout stated that the issue was a matter of urgent priority for TfL and that they would report back to the Mayor within one week. This has not happened. Yet London Cycling Campaign and indeed TfL's own consultants have published designs for safe cycling infrastructure at this notorious roundabout on which work could start immediately. The LCC's Mike Cavenett explained ""The Mayor has failed to get a grip of this situation, and cyclist lives are still at risk. This isn't an issue that's going to go away seeing as this is the major route between central London and the Olympics." Assembly Member John Biggs (in whose constituency the Bow roundabout lays) described the lack of action by Boris and TfL as a "broken promise".
As Chair of TfL Boris Johnson must get to grips with both the seriousness of the situation and indeed the level of anger felt towards him and his seeming reluctance to act. A motion will be tabled today at the London Assembly by members Jenny Jones and Val Shawcross stating the following:
This Assembly deeply regrets the deaths of cyclists on London's road network and wishes to express its condolences for the loss felt by their relatives and friends.
We are concerned that some cyclist deaths and injuries could have been avoided if the road network designs for the locations where these deaths and injuries occurred had been safer.
We therefore call on the Mayor and Transport for London to:
- produce a list of the 10 most dangerous locations for cyclists on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) and all locations in London where a cyclist has died in the last three years;
- report on any proposals that were put forward by cycling and road safety groups as part of official consultation processes for redesigning roads at those locations; and provide the reasons why such proposals were rejected.
Riders of every kind on the Tour du Danger. Londoners shouldn't have to fight just to feel safe getting to work or dropping the kids off at school by bike.
Boris and Transport for London can't keep on encouraging as many people to consider cycling with their savvy marketing, whilst simultaneously ignoring their safety. We've already seen 500+ cyclists take to the roads to highlight the most dangerous junctions on our Tour du Danger. Many hundreds of you have joined with the LCC in emailing the Mayor to demand action. How many more need to start to shout before those who control our roads start to take notice?
The days of this year are rapidly passing and the cycling death toll is growing. The time for action, not words, from Transport for London is now.