Britain’s roads must be made safer for bikes, campaigners and politicians said yesterday, following the deaths of seven cyclists within days.
As police named one of the latest victims as 24-year-old Venera Minakhmetova from Bethnal Green, east London, former transport secretary Lord Adonis called for an independent review of the cycling “superhighways” in the capital.
Miss Minakhmetova, a Russian national, died after an accident involving a lorry at the Bow roundabout in east London in Wednesday morning’s rush-hour. Yesterday Dr Nick Motson, who taught her at Cass Business School, paid tribute to his former student.
He told The Independent: “Venera excelled during her time at Cass both in the classroom and as part of the social life of the school. Her tragic and untimely death means she will never have the opportunity to fully realise the massive potential that she possessed, though we are grateful that she packed so much into her short life. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
In addition to five deaths in London in the last nine days, Eric Codling, 56 was killed by a car in Sheffield on 3 November and Stewart Gandy, 65, was killed in a hit-and-run crash near Nantwich in Cheshire on 12 November. A 36-year-old has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Ian Austin MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, told The Independent he “was shocked and saddened” to learn of the spate of deaths and called for a “national audit” of dangerous junctions so “authorities can get to grips” with the issue.
That view was echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who called for cycling “to be made safer”. “We have got to have more of these bicycling superhighways which physically separate cyclists from roads,” he told LBC Radio.
The former transport secretary Lord Adonis called for an independent review of the cycling “superhighways”. Cycling charity CTC said all bike riders were “sickened by the continuing failure to protect cyclists”, while British Cycling called for an “urgent investigation” into the deaths.
Speaking on LBC , Boris Johnson said: “There’s no question of blame or finger-pointing. That doesn’t work in these circumstances.”