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