This table lists the cyclists killed in London in 2011:
- Gary Mason (48, male) Sandy Lane South
- Daniel Cox (28, male) Dalston Junction
- Tom Barrett (44, male) A40
- David Poblet (20, male) Tanner Street
- Paula Jurek (20, female) Camden Road
- Gavin Taylor (40, male) Mildmay Grove North
- Naoko (34, female) Queen Caroline Street
- Thomas Stone (13, male) Bell Farm Avenue
- Unknown (62, male) Layhams Road
- Paul McGreal (44, male) Hackney Road
- Johannah Bailey (49, female) Cavendish Road
- Sam Harding (25, male) Holloway Road
- Min Joo Lee (24, female) Pentonville Road
- Brian Dorling (58, male) Payne Road
- Svitlana Tereschenko (34, female) Bow Road
- Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Carey (22, female) Abbey Street
This evening at 6 p.m. they’ll be a chance to remember them at the King’s Cross Vigil. The Vigil is organised by the LCC, RoadPeace, London Living Streets and cycling bloggers.
The event is open to anyone who wants to mark their respect. It will be part of a larger call on the Mayor and TfL to put cyclist safety above “smoothing traffic flow”.
On one hand it feels that posting the names of cyclists killed on London’s roads is off putting to new cyclists and creates the image that cycling is a risky activity. However, it would be wrong to let these tragic deaths go unrecognised. It reminds us of the dangers and to be as careful as we can be. It is also a chance to rally together as London cyclists.
What can be done?
Reading through what accident reports are available, a repeating pattern emerges. Heavy Goods Vehicles are involved in a disproportionate number of incidents. Wide blind spots are blamed for the problem.
Part of the solution is seen as a rollout of Trixi Mirrors. The mirrors installed at key junctions reduce drivers blind spots. Currently they’ve been implemented in the first Cycle Superhighway and have received positive feedback from drivers and cycling campaigners. Thanks to their perceived benefit, the Mayor has pledged to continue their rollout to all new cycle superhighways as they are built.
Unfortunately, any progress of getting Trixi mirrors installed in some of the most dangerous junctions in London is hampered pending approval by the Department for Transport. They are likely to need more statistical evidence before granting wider permissions.
Training for HGV drivers is another way of improving cycle safety in London. Currently it isn’t mandatory for freight companies to provide training to their drivers. The Freight Operator Recognition Scheme by TfL is one route some companies have pro-actively joined. Once again the feedback of these training schemes has been very positive. HGV drivers have noted an improved awareness of what it is like to be a cyclist and of the potential dangers.
The more recent rallying cry by cyclists and campaigners is for safer design of junctions. The Blackfriars Bridge protests were a part of this. However, so far this advice has largely been ignored and walkouts by the conservative assembly members have delayed any fruitful discussion as to ways of moving forward.
While Dutch style infrastructure remains largely a pipedream for London cyclists, it is clear that in 2012 the Mayor, whoever that will be, will continue to face tough questions about ignoring cyclist safety. Those tough questions will come from cyclists who continue to pile on the pressure in any way they can. Perhaps the most encouraging thing to have come out of 2011 is the increased organisation of cyclists as a group and the growing power that gives them.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.