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CTC condemns rising toll of cyclists' deaths in London

14 November 2013
CTC demands action on cyclists’ safety in London after a fifth cyclist is killed in ten days on the capital’s roads.
A 'ghost bike' at the Bow Roundabout: photo by Diamond Geezer (Creative Commons)

In a terrible week for cycling in London, the total number of cyclists killed in 2013 has risen to 13, 8 of them killed by lorries. CTC is calling for serious improvements to cyclists' safety at major junctions, to the design of lorries, and to driver training, in order to avert more unnecessary deaths.

Roger Geffen's picture

Boris must stop ducking responsibility for action to save lives

CTC's Campaigns Director Roger Geffen argues that Boris's "finger-pointing" is pointed in the wrong direction, and calls for real solutions to the dangers faced by pedestrians as well as cyclists.
Boris is accused of mis-representing how cyclists die. Photo: Yurri (CC licence)

There has been a truly appalling death-toll on London’s roads in the past 13 days.  Prior to November 5th, there had been 8 cyclist fatalities in 10 months this year.  Since then, we have 6 cyclists’ and 3 pedestrians’ deaths within 13 days, all killed by lorries, coaches or buses.  In total, 9 of the 14 fatalities this year have involved lorries.

Chris Peck's picture

London takes a step towards risk-based approach to road safety

A new road safety plan for the next 7 years has been launched for London. CTC was critical of earlier drafts for failing to include the means to measure the risks of cycling, rather than simply the number of people seriously injured or killed.
TfL's new Road Safety Action Plan has been published

The most crucial aspect of an overarching plan such as the Road Safety Action Plan is its target and the way it is measured.

For ease and simplicity, local authorities and Government have historically adopted a target based solely on the number of people killed and seriously injured. 

Intuitively, this seems to make sense: a target based on numbers killed or seriously injured tackles the public health problem of road injuries directly.

Chris Peck's picture

London Assembly demands better cycle infrastructure

The London Assembly Transport Committee is calling on the Mayor to provide much better facilities for cycling, hugely increase the budget, and set a higher target for cycle use.
Games lanes showed how space could be painlessly reallocated from motor traffic

At a time when cycle safety in London is deteriorating, even though cycling levels are increasing, the Committee's report has focused attention on improving the standard of design of facilities for cyclists, reducing the speed of traffic, and rolling out new cycle lanes along Go Dutch principles on London's busiest streets.

The report draws unfavourable comparisons with New York, where reallocation of road space has provided high quality cycling facilities. Cycle use has subsequently boomed while the risk of cycling has continued to fall.

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Chris Peck's picture

Proposed new junction designs show little sign of innovation

Transport for London has just released proposed new junction designs to improve conditions for cyclists. These schemes involve very minor changes to the road layouts, which in themselves may make conditions slightly easier but they show little sign of innovative or bold thinking.
Proposals for Lambeth Bridge lack ambition

For several months now Transport for London (TfL) has been consulting stakeholders on the first out of the 100 junctions they aim to make better for cyclists.

This project stems from the disaster at Bow Roundabout, where a newly redesigned junction was partly implicated in a death of a cyclist, Brian Dorling, in 2011. Together with pressure from the Times's Cities fit for cycling campaign, the Government provided £15m for junctions in London, followed by another £15m for other parts of England.

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People Empowering People Bike Club

It was a cold evening session at Leyton Square in Southwark, for People Empowering People Bike Club, but no one seemed to mind. The maintenance session was inundated with keen young people who wanted to fix their bikes or earn a bike for themselves by working on one donated by the local police.
Tarpaulin to the rescue at a wet al fresco maintenance session

The session was held at the adventure playground outside under a piece of tarpaulin to keep the worst of the rain off.

Four Bike Club leaders, Nicholas Okwulu, Hindolo Davies, Antonia Fofonah and David Lindsay helped young people fix their bikes and the session was busy all evening, with plenty of bikes being mended.

“The area here on the fringes of Peckham in Southwark is one of very high deprivation” said Nicholas Okwulu, an inspirational leader who helps local young people to help themselves."

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Breezing along with Trax

Trax is a Bike Club operating in a very disadvantaged area of London, near Boadwater Farm. Trax offer a wide range of cycling activities for everyone to enjoy. CTC's Frances Chaloner went to a Trax Breeze Ride for women on a bright autumnal morning.
Trax Containers with a good supply of pool bikes

I attended a Trax Breeze led ride on a Sunday in cold but very bright autumnal day - it was perfect for cycling.

We met up at the Trax containers near at Lordship Rec. This is where the pool bikes that Trax Bike Club members can borrow for sessions are stored.

The pool bikes were purchase with Smarter Travel funding (on road) and a Bike Club grant (off road). They have been very popular and allowed a lot of women to take part in the led rides.

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Marlene Julien: Dr Bike

Marlene Julien is a Dr Bike in more ways than one: she is a hospital doctor and is also a keen cyclist who volunteers as a Trax Bike Club leader in her spare time - encouraging women to cycle and learn how to fix their bikes.
Marlene Julien: Trax Dr Bike and Bike Club Leader

Marlene loves leisure cycling but she rode her bike alone until spring 2011. The turning point came when she joined Trax off-road cycling club as the Welfare Officer, encouraged by Daniel Mintz who was Chairman.

I was inspired by the passion and example of the Trax team to bring the joy of cycling to more people. It is important that everyone can take part, so we secured Smarter Travel funding for bikes which can be borrowed by riders who don’t have their own.”

Marlene Julien

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Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club Leader Charlie Coates

Charlie Coates is working really hard as a Bike Club Leader at Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club for disabled riders, their families, friends and carers. They have a great selection of adapted bikes at Stonebridge Lock that members can borrow for a lovely relaxing ride along the leafy park paths
Charlie Coates (centre) leading a group on the marshes

Charlie Coates is making a tremendous contribution to the running of Lee Valley Cycle Ability Bike Club.

The LVCA Bike Club meets every week at Stonebridge Lock at Lee Valley where they have a storage container for their bikes.

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Queens Park Forum Bike Club Launch in the Sunshine

Queens Park Forum Bike Club is community based and offers weekly bike maintenance lessons, an earn a bike scheme and a drop in Dr Bike service for local people. Cycling Development Officer for London Frances Chaloner went along to the launch in Westminster.
Queens Park Forum Bike Club's Dr Bike, Fabian and a family enjoying the festival

Queens Park Forum Bike Club held their launch at the Summer Festival in Queens Park Gardens, Westminster in glorious summer sunshine.

Ted Flanagan,  the Bike Club leader, organised the festival which had food, music, comedy acts and stalls, including the Queens Park Forum Bike Club with a Dr Bike service. The event was very popular and had a great atmosphere with local people thoroughly enjoying the afternoon in the park.

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