A chance to remember the cyclists killed in London this year


This table lists the cyclists killed in London in 2011:

  1. Gary Mason (48, male) Sandy Lane South
  2. Daniel Cox (28, male) Dalston Junction
  3. Tom Barrett (44, male) A40
  4. David Poblet (20, male) Tanner Street
  5. Paula Jurek (20, female) Camden Road
  6. Gavin Taylor (40, male) Mildmay Grove North
  7. Naoko (34, female) Queen Caroline Street
  8. Thomas Stone (13, male) Bell Farm Avenue
  9. Unknown (62, male) Layhams Road
  10. Paul McGreal (44, male) Hackney Road
  11. Johannah Bailey (49, female) Cavendish Road
  12. Sam Harding (25, male) Holloway Road
  13. Min Joo Lee (24, female) Pentonville Road
  14. Brian Dorling (58, male) Payne Road
  15. Svitlana Tereschenko (34, female) Bow Road
  16. 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.

Thanks to Ben Broomfield for the picture and Olaf Storbeck for compiling the statistics on serious cyclist incidents in London.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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12 Responses to A chance to remember the cyclists killed in London this year

  1. Alan Moore 20/12/2011 at 10:53 am #

    Open season 🙁

  2. Olaf Storbeck 20/12/2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Thank you very much for the credit!

    Unfortunately, I won’t be in London tonight and can’t take part at the Vigil. My thoughts are with the victims and their friends and families.

    Take care

  3. Ian Brett Cooper 21/12/2011 at 6:37 am #

    Cyclists wouldn’t be in drivers’ blind spots if they would take up a central position in the lane and ride as a integrated part of the traffic system. Gutter riding kills cyclists.

    • Andreas 21/12/2011 at 10:10 am #

      There are many causes of cyclists deaths – including riding too near the gutter. However, we shouldn’t believe that as experienced cyclists we are completely immune to the dangers.

    • Sue 21/12/2011 at 3:08 pm #

      Ian, I agree, but maybe that wouldn’t be a problem if Boris didn’t keep prioritising traffic flow (i.e. cars) and everyone is racing along at 30mph plus in places (Grosvenor Place is a racetrack outside my office). Whilst in principle I agree that cyclists should be accepted as part of the traffic, I don’t think it is realistic for them all to be ‘keeping up’ with it. Even if 20mph speed limits were introduced across Central London, slower or less experienced cyclists would still be accused of ‘holding up’ the traffic – I think this is what forces a lot of cyclists into the gutter – intimidation from drivers, even for cyclists who know the principles of riding in primary. Enforcement of some of the issues that cause driver distraction – such as mobile phone usage – would be a start, but unfortunately even when one is lit up like a Christmas tree, some drivers just plain aren’t looking or simply don’t care.

    • Puffedup 30/12/2011 at 6:58 pm #

      The reality is that cycling on the left is unavoidable on most roads, especially in fast moving traffic.You can be in a blind spot whilst overtaking on the right too. Cyclists are vulnerable road users and gutter riding is only part of the problem.

    • christhebull 07/02/2012 at 8:00 pm #

      Unfortunately HGVs have blind spots in front of them as well, and some of the cyclist deaths from previous years in London were not “cyclist rides up inside of turning HGV”, or “overtaking HGV cuts up cyclist”, but “driver stops immediately behind cyclist, and forgets about them and/or is distracted by something else” or “cyclist pulls out in front of stationary HGV in queuing traffic and is not noticed”

  4. Caroline 23/12/2011 at 10:37 am #

    I think we do tend to miss another factor in taking care of ourselves on the roads – steer clear of HGVs and perceived danger spots. Certainly there’s a case for campaigning for better awareness and junction re-designs etc, however cyclists also have a role to play in keeping themselves safe, not just pointing the finger at junction design and HGVs.

  5. Downfader 23/12/2011 at 12:13 pm #

    I take it no. 9 has had their name held back at family request..? IE. they’re not really unknown..?

    I digress…

    RIP. That’s all I can say. Oh and keep fighting, writing and raising awareness, obviously. The mantle is very much in our hands.

  6. Puffedup 30/12/2011 at 6:52 pm #

    what a heartfelt post. I cycle regularly down at least half of those roads so it’s sad to hear of people passing on these routes. Mildmay Grove isn’t even busy…I don’t know the circumstances of these accidents but I know that drivers (and I’m a driver too) need to have more respect for all vulnerable road users. How regularly do cyclists out there find themselves taking a deep breath because they’ve had a near miss? Too many. RIP Gary Mason – boxing’s nice guy.

  7. Lawrence Kolb 05/01/2012 at 1:05 am #

    I wonder if any drivers were charged in any of these deaths? The normal drill is ‘didn’t see the cyclist, feel so bad, end of story’.

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