It's no accident!
LATEST: Jason Chee Kit Wong was killed by a motorbike on St Martin's Le Grand gyratory just north of St Paul's on 18 May 2005. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his wife and children.
Witness appeal from City Police
1/4 of all London's cycle fatalities
In 2004 a quarter of all people killed cycling in London have lost their lives in the City, despite the Square Mile (shown as the red dot in the map) making up just a thousandth of the total area of Greater London. Since the turn of the century the City has had a tenth of all fatalities so this is no statistical blip.
While all over London, new cycle routes and 20mph zones have been appearing, the City of London has bucked the trend. More concerned about maintaining and enhancing the status of the business City, the Corporation of London has channelled its staff into lobbying for high prestige projects like Crossrail rather than making its roads safer.
In fact money granted to the City from Transport for London for initiatives such as the London Cycle Network has gone unspent for years. Few Londoners get a say in the affairs of the City due to its neo-feudal voting system that gives most votes to businesses.
Alex McVitty, killed by cement lorry on London Wall in 2000, Seb Lukomski killed by tipper lorry on Queen Street Place in February 2004, Vicki McCreery killed by bus on Blackfriars Bridge in May 2004
City Cyclists took the Corporation to the High Court in September 2004, forcing it to revive plans for a 20mph zone. At a follow up meeting, called by City Cyclists in the naive hope that Corporation members (councillors) might see sense and start considering cycling, they were told that:
- the City is doing better than most other places,
- they do not expect to hear criticism,
- accidents happen (directly to the mother of Alex, killed cycling on London Wall) and that there was nothing that could be done
- if anything it was fortunate there had not been more deaths due to all the lorry movements for building new offices
- City Cyclists need to maintain a positive image with the Corporation if they want it to do anything to make cycling safer.
Jenny Jones MLA & Road Safety Ambassador came in for particular criticism after correctly describing the statistics on City cycle deaths as "appalling".
What you can do
- Write to Ken Livingstone and ask him what happened to his promise when bringing in the Congestion Charge to make central London better to cycle in.
- Write to your MP & GLA member and ask them why a democratically challenged local authority should have the right to risk your life through its inaction & prejudice.
- Write to the Corporation of London, especially if you live, work or study there, to demand swift action.
- Tell your friends & colleagues and distribute this leaflet (contact us for more details)
- Come to the next City Cyclists meeting: map & more info
If you work in the City why not write a letter with everyone else who cycles in to your workplace? If you live in the City why not do the same with other people in where you live?
For email and postal addresses for the above click here. Don't forget that if a letter has much more of an effect that an email particularly if it is handwritten, though any communication is better than none. Please bcc: firstname.lastname@example.org any emails you send and any response you receive (other than an acknowledgement) so we can keep track.
Download the It's no accident! flyer (Word, 223kb) to print off PDF version coming soon
Other road deaths
We'd very much like to have more details and particularly photos about other people who have died cycling in the City over the last few years as these turn the deaths from mere statistics into real people, who are missed by their friends, families and colleagues. If you have any more information please contact City Cyclists.
Other cycle deaths we are aware of: 19 year old male from Israel killed at Bishopsgate by turning lorry in June 2002, cyclist killed at Bank junction by lorry December 2002, grandfather Kim Vin Thi hit in February 2003 by motorcycle on Blackfriars Bridge and died in hospital three weeks later.
Putting things into persepective
By way of comparison about fifteen to twenty people lose their lives cycling in Greater London every year out of the million Londoners who cycle regularly. Cycling is becoming safer as other road users become used to their increasing numbers. On present trends in a few years it will be as safe as walking is currently. And don't forget on average cycling increases your life expectancy by a couple of years.