Join the London Cycling Campaign protest ride this Friday calling for clear space for cycling on our streets

At 6pm on Friday 12 July, all Londoners are invited to join the London Cycling Campaign protest ride from Tower Hill to Aldgate calling on the Mayor to provide dedicated space for cycling across the capital.

Protest ride details

  • Meet 6pm for 6.15pm start at Tower Hill (where it meets Minories) http://goo.gl/maps/8Czme
  • The protest ride will last approximately 20-30 minutes, including a brief stop at the junction of A11 Whitechapel Road and A1202 Commercial Street to pay respects at the place where last week's victim died
  • The ride will be marshalled by LCC staff and volunteers, and will finish at Altab Ali Park around 6.30pm

In the wake of two cycling fatalities in recent weeks - one in Aldgate, the other in Lewisham - the protest ride will remind the Mayor and local councils that Londoners cycling on busy roads need dedicated space to protect them from fast-moving and heavy motor traffic.

The protest ride takes place exactly a week after the death of a 20-year-old female student who was run over by a lorry while cycling along Whitechapel Road, part of the Mayor's Cycle Superhighway 2.

London Cycling Campaign is also supporting the vigil at City Hall from 5.30 pm in memory of recent lorry deaths, including the pedestrian killed by a lorry in Fulham on Monday.

The City Hall vigil has been called by the Action on Lorry Danger group including RoadPeace, Living Streets, CTC, British Cycling and LCC

Since the first designs for Superhighway 2 were put forward, we've repeatedly told the Mayor that this route – supposedly put in place to encourage more Londoners to cycle – fails to come anywhere near providing a safe or comfortable cycle route.

In a letter to Transport for London dated February 2011, before construction started, we said the project as planned should be halted, and funds should be spent improving flaws in the existing Cycle Superhighways and that Superhighway 2 should be redesigned a genuinely safe cycle route.

As far back as 2009, we put forward a Superhighways manifesto calling for the Mayor to make these commuter routes safe and inviting for novice cyclists, as well as experienced commuters.

Superhighway 2 follows the A11 trunk road, a busy multi-lane road used by high volumes of fast-moving motor traffic; however, despite being one of the Mayor's flagship commuter cycle routes, the section of Superhighway 2 from Aldgate to Bow roundabout provides no dedicated space for cycling.

Cyclists of all abilities, including children, are expected to jockey for position among lorries, cars, motorbikes, buses and taxis, with only a smattering of ineffective blue paint and a few bike symbols to protect them.

This week's victim is the third cyclist to die in collision with a lorry on or near the Superhighway 2, with Brian Dorling and Svitlana Tereschenko both killed at Bow roundabout in 2011.

In stark contrast to this section of Superhighway 2, proposals from Transport for London for the CS2 route extension from Bow roundabout to Stratford provide for wide cycle tracks in both directions, with a raised kerb to protect cyclists from motor traffic and junction treatments to reduce conflict between cyclists and motorists.

The wide tracks on Superhighway 2 from Bow to Stratford are to allow faster commuters to overtake slower cyclists comfortably.

This plan to provide safe and dedicated space for cycling makes the complete absence of space for cycling between Aldgate and Bow very difficult to comprehend.

Until the Mayor and Transport for London accept that on London's busiest roads clear space for cycling must be allocated, then cycling fatalities such as these will continue to happen regularly and cycling growth will be stifled.

We're calling on all Londoners to join our protest ride to tell the Mayor to design our city streets for cyclists of all abilities, so no more families suffer the heartbreak of losing a loved one as has happened so recently at Aldgate and in Lewisham.

A 60-year-old man run over by a bus while cycling in Stamford Hill earlier this week is still critically ill in hospital.

Replies

Even though I live and commute in Peterborough, I would LOVE to attend.
I will see if I can work out of London this day. 

  • By tobyv at 8:59pm 9 July 2013

I'll be there but where is all the publicity for this protest? I only noticed because I happened to click through to the website. I for one would like to be emailed for any protest that is being organised.

May I suggest we ride around the Tower Hill gyratory once, to register our complaint towards that other Cycle SuperKillerWay disaster: the end of CS3, which dumps riders in motor hell?

The ride has been in the Evening Standard and in cycling press this week. This ride has been organised at short notice, so expect coverage to grow this week. 

The Stratford High Street scheme is very welcome indeed, and a big step in the right direction. In my response to TfL I stated that this is the best piece of cycling infrastructure design I had yet seen in the UK. However, it is still far from good enough. It is still going to be very dangerous indeed at junctions because these have not been resolved properly. My extensive response to TfL stated that the route would create, in effect, a series of "Bow Roundabout-style KSIs" because the cycle track goes right up to the junction mouths where cyclists will be cut up severely by turning motor-vehicles. I support well designed dedicated infrastructure for cyclists, but I am aware that in almost all circumstances, segregated tracks and cycle-lanes are more dangerous at junctions than 'plain links' without such infrastructure. The decision needs to be made that the increase in cycling that would result from the investment outweighs the increase in injuries that will occur. This implies that proper attention must be given to how junctions are treated in any scheme. TfL needs to establish a clear commitment to ensuring that where dedicated tracks and lanes meet junctions, proper minimum standards are present to ensure that there is an element of "vehicular" provision, i.e. that for a short distance, to address the risk of left-hooks, motors and cycles share the same space, with drivers turning left and cyclists going straight ahead (or left). The only alternative to this is to implement separate signal-heads for cyclists to give them a dedicated phase--which would introduce delay to all street-users in the absence of turning bans. It does worry me a little that as campaigners we don't appear to have daily access to a professional engineer / cyclist with extensive experience and knowledge of delivering safer cycling infrastructure. Without such a person, we might unintentionally ask for the wrong things. Designing cycling infrastructure is a science, in my opinion, which appears to have few experts in the UK. I believe that, if we are to minimise tragedies and serious injuries in the future arising from new "Dutch" style infrastructure and in the process maintain political support, we absolutely must get ahead of the curve. A good engineer might cost us between £50k and £100k per annum--much of which would be recovered via consultancy. However, to get the ball rolling, should we have a dedicated fundraising campaign? Richard Lewis.
  • By boyan at 9:05am 12 July 2013

Dedicated cycling space is okay to an extent, however I think this would only work if a whole car lane was dedicated to cyclists to cater for different speeds.  Personally, I avoid bike lanes because they are narrow and it takes one cyclists to slow me down.  I think a better idea would be to campaign for stricter laws, such as give room when overtaking cyclists, no overtaking cyclists at bollards, and stricter penalties where these laws are broken (dunno, maybe LCC already campaign for this).  Like, for example, where cars overtake other cars on a full white line, or a double white line - even though they may not cause an accident, I believe the penalty is severe.  Same penalties should be applicable where cyclists are overtaken too closely.

WHEN cyclists,pay road tax,have insurance,bike mot,and ,have passed a test to PROVE they are safe to use Our roads,the roads the motorist has paid for,then,and only then can you complain,untill such time,go ride your ,unsafe ,wobbly ,death traps in the park !!!!

  • By Mallory at 4:37pm 14 July 2013

This content was deleted by Mallory at 8:32pm 14 July 2013.

  • By radii8 at 12:24pm 2 August 2013

@quinn2009 - in the UK the roads are paid for by everybody. Road tax does not exist, there is only a vehicle tax based on emissions. Since the roads are paid for by general taxation the roads belong to everyone and not just motorists. Additionally, many cyclists do have a driving license and drive cars. A bicycle is a legitimate road vehicle as long as it is roadworthy. We all pay for the roads, we have equal right to use them. 

I am in general agreement with your comment that the police budget in London should be increased to pay for random spot checks on bicycles, motorcycles, cars, taxis and HGVs and to address inconsiderate or dangerous road user behaviour. In particular I am concerned by the sense of entitlement that causes motorists such as yourself to use their vehicle without care and potentially are a danger to other road users.

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