Local Death, Local Action
* For immediate release *
For the second time in less than a month, London’s cyclists will gather to commemorate the tragic and untimely death of one of their own in a vigil and die-in organized by the direct action protest group Stop Killing Cyclists.
On Monday, 9 February 2015 at 6pm (for 6:30pm) at Homerton High Street, near the Fire Station at Wardle Street, London E9, hundreds will ride in memory of Akis Kollaros who was crushed under the wheels of a tipper truck a week before.
Akis, a music producer, was the 14th cyclist to be killed in the UK in 2015, and the second in London.
This week, Transport for London approved two new cycle superhighways, which, by 2018, will finally start to provide the infrastructure needed to make cycling safe for anyone who wants to ride – young or old, experienced or new. The cyclists at the vigil will call on the Government, TFL and local authorities to take urgent action to build on this excellent start, and set up Dutch style infrastructure, with well designed, safe, segregated cycle lanes throughout London and the rest of the country.
They will also call for other safety improvements, such as bringing forward the regulations to improve the ability of lorry drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians, which will be required under EU law from 2022.
Stop Killing Cyclists calls for segregated lanes, and safer lorries to prevent tragedies such as this, and allow many more people to enjoy the convenience, better fitness and money-saving benefits of getting on their bikes.
Vigil co-organiser Abby Taubin said:
“What people across Britain want to see is real investment in making our streets safe for humans, not billions more for the motor lobby.”
Release Dated: 5 February 2015
Facebook Event Listing: https://www.facebook.com/events/892034997520775//
Note to editors:
1. Stop Killing Cyclists is the direct action protest group set up in November 2013 after the terrible spate of cyclist killings in London. They arranged the first mass Die-In at TfL HQ where 1,500 cyclists laid down in the road in protest at lack of safety investment in London.
2. Stop Killing Cyclists organised another mass Die-In at Marble Arch in November 2014 which followed a protest march down Oxford Street. For details see: The National Funeral for The Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence.
3. A series of FOI requests by members of Stop Killing Cyclists in 2014 revealed how little (zero!) had been invested in hard-segregated cycle routes:
4. Statistics on the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) can be found at each of these government websites: ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES, and NORTHERN IRELAND. There is a summary at: https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/reference/uk-cycling-fatalities-2015/
5. Our Facebook Event Listing can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/892034997520775/
6. The 10 Demands made by Stop Killing Cyclists and Stop the Killing Coalition are:
- Stop the Killing of Children – set up national multi-billion pound programme to convert residential communities across Britain into living-street Home Zones to abolish dangerous rat-runs.
- Stop the Killing of Pedestrians – establish a national programme to fund pedestrianisation of our city and town centres, including the nation’s high-street – Oxford Street.
- Stop the Killing of Pensioners from excessive speed. Introduce and enforce speed limit of 20 mph on all urban roads, 40 mph on rural roads/lanes and 60 mph on all other trunk roads.
- Stop the Killing of Cyclists. Invest £15 billion in a National Segregated Cycle Network over the next 5 years.
- Stop the Killing by HGVs. Ban trucks with blind spots by making safety equipment mandatory and strictly enforce current truck-safety regulations, to reduce levels of illegally dangerous trucks down from estimated 30% to less than 1%.
- Stop the Killing without liability – introduce a presumed civil liability law on behalf of vehicular traffic when they kill or seriously injure vulnerable road-users, where there is no evidence blaming the victim.
- Stop the Killing from Lung, Heart and other Diseases caused by vehicular pollutants. Make it mandatory for particulate filters that meet latest EU emission standards to be fitted to all existing buses, lorries and taxis.
- Stop the Killing at Junctions. Introduce pedestrian crossing times long enough for elderly disabled to cross. Legalise filtered junction crossings by cyclists with strict legal priority for pedestrians and carry out urgent programme of physically protected left-hand turns for cyclists.
- Stop the Killing from CO2 emissions from impacts of the climate crisis. All transport fuels to be from environmentally-sustainable renewable sources within 10 years.
- Focus on Life! Transport governance must make safety and quality of life the top priority. Reform all council transport departments, the Department of Transport and Transport for London into Cycling, Walking and Transport Departments with formal pedestrian and cyclist representation.