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Politicians want action, safety campaigners organise protest after Bow Roundabout cyclist death

PUBLISHED: 15:15 13 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:15 13 November 2013

The death of a female cyclist this morning on Bow Roundabout takes the death toll to four in eight days on London’s roads. The latest, which occurred two years after the death of Svitlana Tereschenko in the same area of Bow Roundabout has sparked calls for urgent action.

The London Cycling Campaign, which has added its voice to the call for action, has organised a protest at Bow Roundabout tonight.

Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs is demanding Mayor of London Boris Johnson urgently put in place a safety awareness campaign for cyclists and motorists along the Cycle Superhighway 2 as well as immediately introduce an early phase for cyclists at all traffic lights along the route.

He said: “The Mayor must stop calling CS2 a Cycle Superhighway and encouraging cyclists to use it unless he urgently implements safety measures that will protect these vulnerable road users along the whole route. Transport for London need to speak to as many cyclists and motorists along the route as possible about cycle safety. The Mayor must introduce an early phase for cyclists at all traffic lights along the route now.

“All Cycle Super Highways must be reviewed as swiftly as possible and segregated to avoid any further casualties or deaths. I urge the Mayor of London to sign up to the London Cycling Campaign’s Space for Cycling which will make cycling in London safer.”

Darren Johnson, London Assembly Green Party Member, said: “The Mayor’s failure to make roads safer for cycling in the last six years is the reason we are having so many tragedies now. The Mayor has been in complete denial about the scale of the problem and his personal responsibility for dealing with it.

“His repeated talk of our roads getting safer does not match the reality, especially when there is no obvious plan or timetable for action.

“The Mayor must dump his damaging policy of smoothing traffic flow which puts the needs of motorists before safety, deliver segregated cycle lanes on key routes and work with boroughs to roll out 20mph speed limits.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Any death on London’s roads is a tragedy and my thoughts are with the families and friends of the cyclists who have lost their lives.

“In the past decade, the number of cyclists in the capital has almost trebled and it is absolutely vital that we continue to invest huge sums of money into improving cycling infrastructure and making it as safe as possible.

“I’ve committed almost £1bn to doing just that, with major improvements being made to junctions and superhighways across London and plans to ensure HGVs not fitted with safety equipment will face charges. More work is underway and, although changes cannot be made instantly, they are being done as quickly as possible – this is and remains an absolute priority for me, my team and TfL.”

The London Cycling Campaign is calling on all Londoners to join its protest at Bow roundabout tonight organised in response to the latest death.

LCC’s Chief Executive Ashok Sinha said: “Although we don’t know the exact circumstances of today’s crash, we know it happened just a few metres from where Svitlana Tereschenko was killed in 2011.

“It’s unbelievable that we are, again, two years after that death, calling on Mayor Boris Johnson to install cycling and pedestrian-safe traffic lights at Bow Roundabout to prevent more Londoners being killed.

“A cyclist-specific traffic lights were recommended by TfL’s own consultants before Superhighway 2 was built, but the recommendations of expert consultants, cyclists and pedestrians have been ignored.”

The campaign will assemble from 6pm (for 6.30pm start) on the pavement outside McDonalds, at Bow roundabout. It is urging people to bring lights, candles and placards.


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