Friday, 4 November 2011

Another day in London. Another crap junction. Another HGV. Another woman cyclist fighting for her life. Join us to demand better and safer streets. Saturday November 12, 10.30am. Oval junction

We invite you to join us cycling TfL's most dangerous junctions
Hat-tip to cyclestreets.net folk for mapping
Today, yet another London woman cyclist was hit by an HGV and is fighting for her life. The collision happened at yet another TfL mega junction - near Tower Bridge. Multiple lanes of motor traffic. Nowhere for cyclists to go. Unless they want to sprint like athletes with the trucks chasing them. Enough is frankly enough.

Islington Council's leader commented today: "the £10million blue-painted lanes that have sprung up across the capital as part of [Boris Johnson's] grand cycle super­highway scheme. They might be decorative but where’s the substance? Painting “blue bands” without allocating extra road space doesn’t provide the protection that an advisory or mandatory cycle lane would."

She's absolutely right. And it's got to start changing. Before more people are killed by Transport for London's obsession with massive junctions, crap pedestrian crossing times, ridiculous narrow cycle lanes that squeeze you between four lanes of HGVs and buses. It's not only dangerous, it's simply insulting that Boris Johnson is letting Transport for London get away with this again and again. All over London.

I love Boris's new bus. But I am furious with him for his utter lack of regard for Londoners on two wheels.

Mark at ibikelondon blog and I invite you to join us and at least one hundred other people to protest crap conditions for cycling all across London. We are undertaking a tour of the 'Top 10 most dangerous junctions for cycling in London', as defined by Transport for London.

We are protesting the point that normal people want to cycle to normal places. But they can't do so safely. Because the Mayor isn't telling his Transport for London people to make London safe for cycling. Instead, he's asking them to fit more motor traffic through the road network. You can't encourage more and more cycling without giving people somewhere on the road to cycle safely.

We're expecting at least 100 people to turn up and we're delighted to have the support of a large team of volunteer marshalls who will help us get through each junction. We will be joined by a feeder ride from Bow roundabout, scene of yet another cyclist death, killed by someone driving an HGV.

And that's kind of the purpose of the ride: It's insane that so many Londoners want to cycle but feel they can't. It's insane that the number of people killed or injured on bikes is increasing in London. It's insane that the Mayor is more worried about parking fees for 4,500 parking spaces in Westminster than about the safe transit of thousands more people on bikes over Blackfriars Bridge.

The story is the same at Bow and at Kings Cross, where half-hearted road designs have contributed to the recent deaths of two cyclists and where several cyclists have been knocked off by HGVs in the last couple of weeks alone. It is the same at Oval junction with its pitiful cycle super highway down the middle of a three lane express route. It's the same everywhere that Transport for London touches a junction or a main road. Cycling is at the bottom of the pile. And so are you, if you're on a bike rather than in a car.

More background here

Meet at St Mark's Church, The Oval, Kennington, SE11 4PW at 10.30 on Saturday 12 November for a 10.30 prompt departure.

Full details of the route available here.

For more background about the Tour and how it came about read here
We're looking forward to seeing you there. If you cycle in London and you think the time has come for the streets to change, you should be there.