Friends and family organise vigil for Ellie Carey

22 year old Guernsey woman Ellie Carey became the 16th cyclist to die in London after a collision with a lorry on Tower Bridge Road on the 2nd of December.

Her family have been incredibly brave in sharing publicly how the death of their daughter has affected them, talking with the press - whilst our city politicians played at being children - to try to ensure her death will not be in vain.

Ms Carey's father, Allistair told the Evening Standard that he had met with Deputy Chair of TfL Daniel Moylan "I said to him: 'In your position as deputy chairman, I want you to see what the human agony is rather than just the mere statistics."

He went on to describe Ellie, the youngest of his four children, as a “marvellous girl” who wanted to do aid work in Africa and around the world.  From the island of Guernsey, she had moved to London to study and was reading International Development at London Metropolitan University.

Meanwhile, talking to the London Cycling Campaign, Ellie's brother, Peter, described his sister: "While we cannot change the past, the future is unwritten, and we hope the tragic deaths of 16 cyclists in London this year will result in action being taken in making improvements in safety for cyclists.

"Rather than just the promise of another 'review', action needs to be taken. And if Transport for London and the Mayor have ignored recommendations to improve the safety of junctions, they must explain why."

Moving words from a family who must currently be going through an unimaginably difficult time.

Wanting to show support for the family, and to raise awareness of the dangerous junction at which Ms Carey was killed, friends and cycle activists are organising a vigil for Ms Carey for this Wednesday the 14th December at 6PM in Bermondsey Square (map) 

As we try to continue to put pressure on our city leaders and authorities to take road danger and these needless deaths seriously, I hope as many of you as possible will be able to stop by the vigil to show your support.

Further to Wednesday's events, please mark the evening of Tuesday December 20th in your diaries and try to keep it free.  Further details will soon be forthcoming but once again Danny from Cyclists in the City blog, the London Cycling Campaign and myself will be calling on you for your support.  We're planning an event which will reflect on the needless deaths of 16 of our fellow cyclists here in London and plan to mark the end of what has been a remarkable year of anger and protest amongst us.  Stay tuned.

Share |


Ian Cooper said...

Looking at the intersection, I can see how a collision could happen turning from Tower Bridge Road onto Abbey Street. A lorry turning left would need to pull right to avoid hitting the bollards with his rear wheels. A cyclist might assume that the lorry was turning right and attempt to pass on the left. This is especially likely if the lorry driver failed to indicate his turn.

Many people have suggested installing a pedestrian crossing here. While that's a good idea, I don't see how it would help a cyclist.

Cyclists need to be aware of this tendency of lorries to move right before turning left and act very carefully at intersections. Also, it should be illegal for cyclists to overtake on the left. Also, cyclists need to be urged to take the whole lane before intersections, even if it means waiting in a traffic queue. Finally, this intersection could be improved by widening the corner so that lorries need not pull to the right before making a left turn. That way, they would stay to the left all the way through the turn, and would therefore be predictable to other road users.

ibikelondon said...

Thanks for your comment, Ian, and for taking the time to write.

At present we do not know the full details of what happened at this site. Perhaps the lorry came up behind the cyclist, as in the case of Min Joo Lee at Kings Cross? Perhaps the cyclist was waiting to turn and the approaching lorry didn't see her.

It's not helpful at present to speculate who is wrong or right, but as you correctly identify there *are* known problems with the junction, and these problems have been known for some time. Until we know further details about this specific incident, we should focus our efforts on changing a location which is known to be a dangerous junction for all kinds of road users.

As for banning cyclists from undertaking traffic on the left; I'm hesitant to introduce any kind of legislation which is unlikely to be enforced (think mobile phone driving ban, or the speed limit) and of course nearly all current cycling infrastructure in the UK (including ASLs at junctions) is designed to encourage cyclists to do just as you describe, rightly or wrongly.

ndru said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndru said...

Ian - banning things is a bit like hitting your kids - something you do you of helplessness and desperation rather than a reasonable way of changing someones' behaviour.
Clever parents and authorities on the other hand make the desired behaviour easy and convenient. Like traffic planners have done with driving for the last 50 years - want to drive? sure here's your highway. There are designs that specifically target the problems faced by many junctions in London. However people like BJ (no pun intended) will consider literally everything and will put redesigning junctions in such a way that provides adequate space for each transport mode using it and removes conflict between modes last. It's as simple as that.
Why devise an array of bans, rules and tomes of advice when a single solution requiring only will, can sort it out?

Anonymous said...

It's a bad junction for all road users.

I regularly use this junction on my bike. I've almost been hit at least twice crossing Tower Bridge Rd - by vehicles jumping the red light on tower bridge road in either direction.

There is no filter light for traffic going towards tower bridge to turn right into abbey st. When the road is busy vehicles often jump the lights. It's understandable - I've even done it myself when driving.

Also as a pedestrian it can be a complete nightmare to get across Tower Bridge Road on the Sainsburys side - there is no crossing.