Moira Gemmill was killed in a crash whilst cycling at Lambeth Bridge and Millbank, Westminster on Thursday, 9 April 2015. There was a Vigil, Protest and Die-In on: MONDAY 20 April 2015 at 6pm.
Moira was the 25th person killed whilst cycling in the UK in 2015.
She was the 5th person killed in London whilst cycling – all in crashes involving an HGV. All but one of the victims were women.
Our deepest condolences go to victim’s family and friends.
Moira was widely respected as a “leading figure in architecture and design” – Christine Murray, editor of The Architectural Review told ITV London News:
I think the poor design of that infrastructure is something that she would have been a champion of solving: she believed design can make our city a safer and better place to live.”
Media Coverage – After the Vigil
London Evening Standard:
Media Coverage – Before the Vigil
- Building industry ‘must help stop slaughter of cyclists under HGVs’
- Heritage boss mourns tragic death of arts visionary Moria Gemmill
- London arts visionary Moira Gemmill killed by lorry while cycling near Lambeth Bridge
- Evening Standard comment: Cycling in London must be made safer
- Woman cyclist killed in crash with lorry on Lambeth Bridge
- (also on same day as crash, this report from court case about a previous crash:) Lorry driver banned from the roads five times admits jumping red light and killing cyclist
West End Extra:
Construction Manager (Chartered Institute of Building):
The Press and Journal (Aberdeen):
- Cycling toll rises with tragedy of royal designer
- Analysis: Lorries pose huge threat to women riders
- Obituary: Moira Gemmill (subscription required)
London Cycling Campaign:
- Woman killed after collision on notorious Lambeth Bridge roundabout
“The redesign of this junction to provide safe space for cycling is urgently needed. Sadly, while plans were consulted on by Transport for London following recommendations from London Cycling Campaign, the proposals were abandoned following consultation.”
Video Reports and Interviews
YouTube: ITV London News – ITV London News, 20 April 2015
YouTube: Tom Kearney – “A Bright Light Will Shine Through Westminster’s Towering Walls of Indifference”
YouTube: DrMorocho – Vigil to remember Moira Gemmill
- Nicola Branch, Stop Killing Cyclists
- Ted Brown, Stop Killing Cyclists
- Mustafa Arif, London Cycling Campaign
- Peter Hartley, Chair Westminster Living Streets
- Beth McKillop, Deputy Director, V&A
- Tom Kearney, Safer Oxford Street campaigner
- Shining Light through Westminster’s Towering Walls of Indifference: Words Spoken at a Stop Killing Cyclists’ Vigil & Die-In for Fallen Cyclist Moira Gemmill (20 April 2015)
- Video of Tom reading “A Bright Light Will Shine Through Westminster’s Towering Walls of Indifference”
Hello. I’m Ted Brown, one of the volunteers composing Stop Killing Cyclists, who’ve arranged this Vigil and Die-in as a tribute to Moira Gemmill, who was killed here by a tipper truck on Thursday, 9th April.
Moira had been Director of Design at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Her design and architectural work is acknowledged to have reinvigorated the Museum, and she’d recently been selected by the Queen as Director of the Capital Program to work on architecture and design at the Royal Palaces. She was riding her bike on the way to St. James Palace when she was struck by a tipper truck and killed.
Stop Killing Cyclists is holding this vigil in her name.
There are other speakers here who will tell you more about Ms. Gemmill, the focus of this, Stop Killing Cyclists’ fifth such vigil for cyclists killed in London since the beginning of the year. The previous four are Stephanie Turner on 20th January, Akis Kolaris, 2nd February, Frederica Baldassa, 6th February and Claire-Hitier Abadie, 19th February.
First a few words on Stop Killing Cyclists, how we all come to be here today and the circumstances which led to these unnecessary deaths. Stop Killing Cyclists was launched by Donnachadh McCarthy and Stephen Routely in November 2013, following the killing of six cyclists within the space of two weeks. Since then Stop Killing Cyclists has gathered together people to actively voice our concerns about the lack of safe infrastructure on the roads for those most vulnerable, pedestrians and cyclists.
Stop Killing Cyclists has contacted authorities such as Transport for London, Westminster City Council and others, also conducting public protests and Die-ins, protesting at their stubborn refusals to move quickly to address safety issues on our roads.
At the end of last year Stop Killing Cyclists vowed to hold vigils to commemorate every cyclist in London killed by a motor vehicle. This decision was not to ignore the deaths of the other vulnerable road users. It would be impossible to hold a vigil for every pedestrian killed, since for every reported cyclist killed there are eight or more pedestrian deaths, most of which go unreported.
This brings us to one of the circumstances which led to the death of Moira Gemmil and that of many others. It is the way our culture has become accustomed, almost indifferent, to the number of killings on the roads, which is reflected specifically in this case.
After years of prior campaigning by numerous cycling and safety campaign groups, Transport for London developed safety proposals for Lambeth Bridge and this junction in 2012. But, due mainly to objections by Westminster City Council, those plans were abandoned.
Indifferently, in the three years since then, nothing has been done by either TfL or Westminster to improve safety at this notorious junction and roundabout.
Moira and the thousands of other cyclists and pedestrians who use this junction have not been provided with the protection they need to save lives.
The authorities only act under pressure. So we’re asking, on behalf of Moira Gemmill, the others who have been killed and those in danger of being killed on the roads, that we all do what we can to demand safer roads. These unnecessary injuries and killings must end. Ironically, Director Martin Roth remembers Moira proudly proclaiming that “good design could change society”. For her sake, let us demand well designed roads and traffic infrastructure.
- Click to see Nicolas’ pictures on Flickr
Tami Piz Fer
- Click to see Luke’s pictures on PhotoShelter
- Click to see Ruth’s pictures on Demotix