Following the very sad news of the death of Claire Hitier-Abadie, 36, on Thursday 19th February at Victoria Street at Bressenden Place, Westminster, London there was a Protest and Die-In at Westminster City Council, followed by a Vigil, on:
MONDAY 2 March 2015
Claire was the 18th person killed whilst cycling in the UK in 2015.
She was the 4th person killed in London whilst cycling.
A bouquet of flowers was placed by Stop Killing Cyclists near to where Claire Hitier-Abadie was killed.
Our deepest condolences go to Claire’s family and friends.
Extract of Cathryn Symons’ post from the Facebook group…
The vigil last night was great. Brilliant to see so many people, and big congratulations to Nicola, Abby, Carl, Andrew and the rest of the team for getting so many media out.
I think its safe to say though, that if I worked around there, I wouldn’t cycle…. All of it absolutely nightmarish, and by the time I got back to nice, safe Camden (and parked my bike right outside a restaurant – when can you ever do that in Westminster?) I was a bit of a shaking wreck. It makes me realise how important our work is.
We really do need decent protected lanes, and a much, much better attitude to cycling if even people like me (not very fast, but reasonably confident) are going to ride, let alone everyone else.
Posted in the Stop Killing Cyclists Facebook group by Caroline Russell following the vigil…
Been talking to a friend who went to the Westminster Committee meeting held after the vigil last night.
Apparently they said the protest was about a recent incident about which they would not be talking.
And one councillor thought that they should be educating pedestrians to wear sensible shoes! – Silly me of course I’ve been almost run over because of my footwear.
Councillors also thought they should have some education aimed at drivers to encourage them to indicate more while driving. Policy made by hunch. Lethal.
If this wasn’t so terrifying it would be funny. Westminster council just do not understand what is happening on their streets and appear uninterested in finding out.
Aside, earlier in the day, there was a collection of politicians brought together for a cycle-themed hustings by The Times as part of their Cities Fit For Cycling campaign:
- The Times: Big Cycling Debate
- Editorial: Pedal Harder – Britain risks stalling on the cusp of a cycling revolution
- Huffington Post: Roads for the Common Good – Why the Greens Deserve a Voice on Transport
- Road.cc: THINK! Cycling campaign extended to seven more cities despite failure to change driver behaviour
Media Coverage – After the Vigil
West End Extra:
- TV report: Protest and Vigil for Claire Hitier-Abadie at Westminster City Hall
- Video of Die-In (BBC London Facebook posting; over 23,000 views)
- TV report and interview: Nicola Branch debates with LTDA on Channel 4
Media Coverage – Before the Vigil
London Evening Standard:
Tom Kearney, Safer Oxford Street campaign:
- Words Spoken at #StopKillingCyclists Rally & Vigil for Claire Hitier-Abadie at Westminster City Hall: 2 March 2015
We’re gathered here today to lay bodies—and responsibility—at the feet of Westminster Council.
Bodies of people like cyclist Jane Helliwell, a 25 year-old artist who was crushed to death by a TfL Bus on Oxford Street in April 2010.
When these human beings set out on their journey in Westminster on the day their lives were unjustly taken, their intention was to shop, work, visit friends or just enjoy some time in the greatest city on earth. It is not — like me in December 2009 — to lie on the street helpless, their brains and bodies crushed by rushing tonnes of steel.
Westminster is the heart of this country’s democracy and culture and—for most of the world—it represents everything that justifiably fills British hearts with pride.
And the bodies that are placed at Westminster Council’s feet every day from policies designed and enforced in this building—with the full support and connivance of the Mayor of London & Transport for London—reveal Westminster Council to be the weeping sore on the heart of this great country it really is.
Caroline “Highbury on Foot” Russell, Green Councillor for Highbury East ward in Islington:
“Others will speak in detail tonight about Claire Hitier Abadie. I never met Claire but I am deeply saddened by her death and my thoughts go out to her family and her friends.
As I prepared what to say tonight, I went back through my notes from previous vigils held all across London, where I along with many of the people here today have spoken out about the inhumanity of our transport system: at Kings Cross, Bow Roundabout, Vernon Place and many other locations across the city, forever tinged with the desperate sadness of loss.
The inhumanity of our transport system: that leaves families and friends grieving the sudden and violent loss of a loved one and that leaves our city brutalised on an almost daily basis.
The repeated toll of violent death and serious injury on our streets is unbearably sad.
What can we do?
We need to make a transport system that tackles health and social inequality.
• to re allocate space on our streets and time at our junctions to people walking and cycling.
• to ensure people have access to efficient affordable networks of public transport
• to reduce the motorised traffic and parking capacity of our roads so that journeys by bike and on foot are safe, convenient and more attractive.
• to re-think freight. About 50% of the goods delivered by white vans could just as easily be made by cargo bike
• a step change in road safety, focusing on reducing danger and changing the culture around speeding.
• A change in the legal framework so motor vehicle drivers are presumed liable for injuries to pedestrians and cyclists
• Safer lorries with lower cabs, all the mirrors and safety kit and decent training
We must stop the killing.
Urban Pictures UK: Mass Cyclist Die-In, London
Sam Khamtonwong: 4th Vigil Die-In To Remember Claire Hitier-Abadie
Bambuser: OccupyMayDay #ONN #OLSX Covering: #London #StopKillingCyclists #DieIn outside #Westminster #CityHall
- 17h13 Video
- 18h58 Video (speech by Caroline Russell)
- 19h13 Video
- 19h29 Video (Die-In then speech by Nicola Branch)