Scores of London cyclists peddled in to Kings Cross today to protest against the dangerous motorists and bad road planning that puts cyclists at risk in London every day.
Organised by Bikes Alive, the cyclists hollered slogans and waved banners at the Pentonville Road and York Way junction where the 24-year-old Korean fashion student Min Joo Lee was killed in October last year.
In their campaign “Enough is enough!”, campaigners argue that TfL has turned a blind eye to the junction’s danger to cyclists.
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“Traffic lights are timed to suit the impatience of motorists rather than the needs of more vulnerable users,” said Bikes Alive on the yellow fliers they robustly distributed to passer bys.
In December, TfL said it would make changes to the road network at the station, where Lee and three other cyclists Wendy Gay, Emma Foa and Madeleine Rosie Wright were killed. However, TfL later said no major changes would take place before the Olympics this summer.
Campaigners said that today’s action would be the first of many attempts to lobby safer roads.
“Unless TfL changes its priorities, Bikes Alive will endeavour to organise regular road closures, to completely close down King’s Cross for at least one hour every week until TfL comes to its senses,” said a spokesperson.
Martin Brown is cycling in London for 35 years and feels very strongly about introducing measures to eliminate the risks of cycling in the capital. “Cyclists on the streets are the people who are reducing pollution, is it fair that they’re being mowed over like this?”
“I think TfL needs to introduce a traffic calming measures so that people on their cars and bikes show some respect for cyclists, ” he added.
Another cyclist Katharine Hibbert said, “I am here because I think roads are very unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists. There are so many places people can get to on the bike or on foot but the increase in number of deaths have discouraged them. We need a complete overhaul of roads so as to ensure safety of Londoners.”
In November last year, mayor of London Boris Johnson and transport commissioner Peter Hendy were questioned by the Greater London Authority over safety of London roads. Boris was adamant that cycling in the city had never been safer and pointed out that 19 deaths from cycling occurred in 2010 compared with 14 in 2011.