Hundreds of cyclists join protest at fatal Bank crossroads

 

Hundreds of cyclists gathered at Bank junction in the City of London this morning to pay tribute to Ying Tao, the 26 year old cyclist killed by a tipper truck at the junction on Monday, and Clifton James, the cyclist killed in Harrow on Sunday evening.

The protest, organised by the London Cycling Campaign under the Space for Cycling banner, called for reduced road danger especially at extremely hazardous junctions like Bank and called for the removal of lethal lorries.

In an article for City AM today Ashok Sinha, LCC's chief executive, said: "three things really need to change.

"The first is a complete redesign of major junctions to create safe space for cycling. Second, high quality cycling lanes that physically separate cyclists from motor vehicles (but which are wide enough for the faster commuter cyclist to overtake others) should be the norm on main roads. Third, only the best equipped HGVs should be allowed on London’s streets."

Traffic at this complex junction in the heart of the City of London was brought to a halt while everyone observed a minute's silence and heard tributes and a call to action from Ann Kenrick OBE, chair of London Cycling Campaign.

Bank junction, one of the busiest in London, is currently the subject of a major review, commenced in 2011 by City of London authorities. The City consultation concluded that the top priorities are simplifying the junction to reduce conflict, improved provision for pedestrians and people on bikes, better air quality and improve the perception of "place".

The original consultation, completed in 2013, planned improvements to the junction that would be executed in 2013 -2017. In its latest Press Release the City now anticipates that works will commence in 2019. Any such works must first be approved by Transport for London which, together with the City of London, shares responsibility for roads and traffic at the junction. 

Michael Welbank, Chairman of the Planning & Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation says: "Casualty numbers have not risen despite the three fold increase in cyclist injuries but we must redouble our efforts. This is no time for complacency".

LCC wants to see improvements at Bank junction to be progressed with utmost urgency to prevent further collisions involving pedestrians, cyclists and all other road users.  The responsible highway authorities must prioritise what is acknowledged as a highly hazardous location. 

The incident at Bank is the eighth cyclist death in London in 2015 with seven of them involving lorries. LCC continues to campaign for safer lorries and safer drivers.  We do not accept that so called 'blind spots' should be accepted as a necessary defect of urban lorries. Neither buses nor most new refuse lorries have 'blind spots' around the front of the vehicle and that should be the case with all lorries used  in dense urban areas. LCC welcomes the Mayor's requirement, as of September , all lorries used in London have to have to be fully equipped with basic safety features but we want to London to work towards having only lorries that are blind spot free. Such lorries are now available for the construction sector.

Read our Storify of the protest 

Ann Kenrick OBE, chair of London Cycling Campaign leads to the tribute to Ying Tao and the other victims killed in 2015.

A mourner studies the floral memorials placed around the traffic light at the centre of Bank junction.