Kings Cross Xmas vigil will ask: "Why are London cyclists at least twice as likely to suffer fatal crashes as the Dutch?"

From 6pm on Tuesday 20 December 2011 cyclists, pedestrians, and friends and family of recent crash victims will gather outside King's Cross station for a Xmas vigil to remember loved ones and highlight the unacceptable death toll on the capital’s roads. 

The London Cycling Campaign, RoadPeace, London Living Streets, and prominent bloggers are inviting all Londoners to join them beside one of the city's most dangerous junctions where already a cyclist has been killed this year.

The event will contrast the high levels of road danger in Greater London with the safety of Dutch cities, with cyclists in London at least twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as they are in Holland.

Campaigners are calling on the Mayor to reject his policy of putting motor traffic flow above safety.

Over 100 Londoners are killed every year in collisions on our roads, and a large proportion of these are pedestrians, as well as cyclists, motorcyclists and car occupants.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, "Every few days another London family is torn apart by the violent death of a loved one, killed needlessly on the capital's streets.

"It’s hard to imagine the pain these families will feel, especially on Christmas Day when we traditionally share the love of those closest to us.

"Sixteen of the road fatalities in 2011 have been Londoners riding bikes (up from 10 last year), and this year there have been dozens of people on foot also killed.

"London cyclists have the same right to get about safely as people in Holland, so why are we more than twice as likely to be killed in collisions in our streets?"

Mark Ames of the ibikelondon blog said, "The Dutch have shown that high-quality cycle provision and child-friendly residential zones can reduce this death toll dramatically, and improve the quality of life for all city-dwellers. These designs are being adopted all over the world, but London is being left behind.”

Danny Williams of Cyclists in the City said, "People are being asked to fling themselves on bikes through multi-lane junctions where cycling is an after-thought. The safety of cyclists and pedestrians should have just as much importance as the safety of motor users on London's streets."

Campaigners are calling for the Mayor and TfL to address the most dangerous junctions in the city as a matter of urgency, and to implement continental-style streets in London to make them as safe and inviting as they are in Holland.

Thanks to David Vallade for the poignant illustration above

Replies

Not just twice as likely. Five or six times as likely:

 

http://drawingrings.blogspot.com/2011/11/some-estimated-cycling-casualty-rates.html

 

 

Perhaps the figure is higher, but we went with the best data available at present

where's your data from? (i know the figures on the link are KSIs not deaths.. but maybe it's better to use that anyway?)

if anyone wants to read a great academic article on why the dutch have done so well, read the link below.

yes it has a few flaws and doesn't discuss the weather being a factor, etc, but otherwise very interesting and accessible paper. i had to critique it for my studies.

as the paper says, the UK had relatively more cyclists than the Netherlands did just after the war, though that all changed with the mass uptake of four wheels, but after the 1970s oil crisis the dutch made major changes to their town planning and cycle infrastructure...

so it is possible to change , it is just up to us to sort it out.

http://www.vtpi.org/irresistible.pdf

I'm sure that if the HSE monitored our roads as they do construction sites, they would shut them down instantly. It's not acceptable that people should die or become seriously injured to get priorities changed. This shouldn't be a political issue, there should be safety for all.
As a cyclist myself, and for sometime also on the lunatic asylum that is the roads of Paris, I have every sympathy for cyclists, and I agree that planning and other road users' attitudes are probably the biggest factors in causing deaths. But I do think there is another factor that should be taken into account when comparing the UK with the Netherlands: cyclists' own behaviour. Cyclists in the Netherlands tend to pootle around at relatively slow speed. They know that cycling at full speed in the city generally doesn't get you there much faster and just tires you out, as you end up just stopping and accelerating more. UK cyclists (including me) seem to want to go as fast as possible, as much as possible, and hate stopping. This can result in some pretty silly risks being taken. You only have to look at this video to see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDAYkdlKEGI We also need a parallel campaign to get UK cyclists to slow down, be a little less aggressive and take fewer risks. It's tempting to think that all other road users should give way to us as we're the most vulnerable - and in general I agree - but that doesn't mean we should behave as though we're No.1 and that we have every right to nip in and out of tiny gaps trying our best to avoid having to use our brakes. If cyclists are that keen to save their energy & strength they should get an electric mod fitted so they can get back up to speed easily without taking silly risks.

kieranmadden's post makes a lot of sense to me. I love cycling at speed, but in a city like this it can be as dangerous as speeding in a car. I commute most days and often have near-misses caused by other cyclists doing daft and dangerous things (as I have done too, I admit). I don't for an instant excuse the selfish and careless behaviour of many drivers - and I'm a driver a well - but I think it's pretty obvious we'd have a stronger case and more chance of support from the wider public if we didn't often behave so foolishly and selfishly. I know too many people who say they hate cyclists, and it's things like going across pedestrian crossings on red that cause this. Both my children have had very frightening experiences from speeding cyclists while crossing with the green man. Lately I'm finding London more scary to cycle in, not less, for all the reasons LCC campaigns on, and despite their great work and some excellent improvements by individual councils. I feel the only way forward is for all road users, including pedestrians, to acknowledge that we all have to respect and look out for each other, and that making it safe for cycling would would make our wonderful city more attractive and enjoyable for everyone. To end on a positive note, more and more cyclists are cycling carefully and responsibly, and it's clear that many drivers recognise and appreciate intelligent and courteous behaviour. Surely it's a matter of enlightened self-interest in the end.

This content was deleted by London Cycling Campaign at 7:02pm 21 December 2012.

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