Cyclists plan blockade of deadly junction

Protesters say Transport for London is doing nothing to tackle the rise in fatal accidents

Protesters plan to block one of London's busiest junctions today to highlight their anger at a 60 per cent rise in cycling deaths in the capital in two years.

The direct action group Bikes Alive is asking cyclists and pedestrians to descend at 6pm on the junction outside King's Cross station – where the 24-year-old Korean fashion student Min Joo Lee was killed in October last year – in the hope of calming traffic there for an hour.

They have vowed to repeat their protest, with the aim of closing down King's Cross for at least an hour a week, until changes are made by the capital's transport authority, Transport for London (TfL).

Albert Beale, of Bikes Alive, said of today's protest: "The event is the first step in a campaign to stop – by whatever non-violent means needed – the completely unnecessary level of deaths, injuries and fear inflicted by motorists on the more vulnerable. I urge cyclists to join us. And if you don't have a bike, bring your dancing shoes."

In December, TfL said it would make changes to the road network at the station, where four cyclists, including Miss Lee, have died in the past five years. Wendy Gay, Emma Foa and Madeleine Rosie Wright were also killed by lorries in the area. However, TfL said no major changes would take place before the Olympics this summer.

The cyclists' action reflects a growing anger in the capital at the soaring death rate of cyclists, a s highlighted by The Independent. Metropolitan Police figures show there were 10 deaths in 2009 and 13 in 2010. Nine of the 16 deaths in 2011 involved collisions with HGVs. Police said most were hit by vehicles turning left.

By far the worst region of the UK for cyclist injuries and deaths in 2010 was London, with 468 reported. The chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), 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."

Figures from the transport experts John Pucher and Ralph Buehler show that the number of cyclist deaths per 100 million miles cycled between 2005 and 2008 was 3.6 in the UK, compared with 1.7 in Germany, 1.5 in Denmark and 1.1 in the Netherlands.

Lenny Shallcross, 34, who has cycled in London for about 10 years, said: "There is a level of inactivity on behalf of TfL which is difficult to comprehend. There has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of people who cycle in London recently and they are talking about improvements which will take three years."

Mr Shallcross said the Amsterdam model, with segregated cycle lanes, was the safest one. He attacked the recent move towards dedicated cycle lanes in London, which he called "a metre-wide lick of paint which is supposed to protect cyclists from a lorry".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers