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
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need