Moira Gemmill was killed in a crash whilst cycling at Lambeth Bridge and Millbank, Westminster on Thursday, 9 April 2015.
Over 400 people joined a vigil and die-in organised by ‘Stop Killing Cyclists’ on Monday, 20 April 2015 at Lambeth Bridge from 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.
Our thanks go out to all the volunteers who helped organise the event, made speeches and shared their photos and videos of it. Special thanks go to the members of the MET Police who cycled to the vigil and kept us all safe.
You can read about the vigil and die-in, plus see videos, pictures and news reports, here:
I want protected cycleways which is slightly different [to segregated cycleways]. I want the model they have in Holland [The Netherlands].
Also in the studio was Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA). In January, Mr McNamara stated on BBC London radio that his organisation is against the “Crossrail for Bikes” Cycle Superhighways across central London:
“We’re against it, lots of businesses are against it. We are considering a Judicial Review against the scheme in conjunction with Canary Wharf and others.”
Last night, Mr McNamara stated that he and his LTDA members are in favour of segregated cycleways but not money being spent on building them:
We are all for segregated cycling lanes, my members want segregated cycling [but] The Mayor is spending £1bn of money he hasn’t got in London on cycling, we questioned that.”
The fundamental problem is [that] London is the greatest city on the planet – you cannot implement a system in London identical to the one in Amsterdam – systems that work there won’t work in London, we haven’t got the road space for one…
Andrew D Smith, a speaker at Monday’s protest, stated today,
When LTDA say they want “segregated lanes” they mean the maze of disconnected fragments on back streets that don’t go anywhere, disappear at junctions so few people want to use them. The moment there’s a proposal for protected lanes that go somewhere useful – like Victoria Embankment or Elephant to Kings Cross, the LTDA fight it tooth and nail.
Campaigning group CyclingWorks.London has stated that over 170 London employers support the Cycle Superhighways scheme.
Jon Klaff, a member of Stop Killing Cyclists, commented on Facebook that, “Steve needs to go to Amsterdam when he comments on lack of road space. He might notice the big, wet things in the middle called ‘canals’. Amsterdam has less space than London. Then he brings up New York, a city that is on the verge of being redesigned around the bike. Basically, he has no facts and lots of opinions.”
Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists told BBC News on Monday at the protest,
Westminster Council has spent ZERO on protected cycle lanes over the last 5 years; And what we want is 10% of the budget spent on protecting people cycling to work and school. We are not asking for more money to be spent on transport – we asking for 10% of the existing budget to be spent on cycling.
Nicola concluded the interview with an invitation,
I would like Steve to come cycling with me but I think Steve is too scared to come cycling with me – many people are too scared to go cycling.
Later in the evening, Nicola tweeted that her invitation had been accepted,
Steve agreed to cycle round Elephant & Castle [with] a hand shake & witnessed by @kemenzerem [Keme Nzerem, Correspondent, Channel 4 News]
Steve McNamara confirmed in an article published in the LTDA’s trade magazine ‘Taxi’, that: “the LTDA has already instructed its lawyers to prepare the grounds for a legal challenge by judicial review.”
The London Cycling Campaign stated on 29 January 2015: “the LTDA (represented by Bob Oddy) and the Canary Wharf Group (Peter Anderson) – sit on the TfL Board, which must ratify [the Cycle Superhighway’s] funding. Indeed, the Canary Wharf Group PLC already has form– being behind a damaging and inaccurate behind-the-scenes briefing against the superhighway proposals.”
In the same issue of ‘Taxi’, the LTDA reaffirmed its policies which include: ‘a complete ban on pedicabs‘; and, ‘taxi access to all bus lanes‘. Ed.Note: people who choose to cycle are permitted to do so in many of London’s bus lanes.
Mayor Must End London’s Illegal Truck Epidemic Now!
Online Petition Launched by Stop Killing Cyclists
After yet another cyclist was killed by a truck at Vauxhall Cross, Stop Killing Cyclists have today (22nd June 2014) launched a petition calling on the London Mayor to set a target of reducing the illegally driven trucks on London’s roads down from its current epidemic levels (estimated to be over 30%) to a maximum of 1%.
The petition also calls on the Mayor to:
Provide the funding to achieve this to the Metropolitan Police Enforcement Unit
End the dangerous driver time-penalty systems used by TfL Buses and trucks used on the Crossrail Project.
It is estimated that up to 30% of all trucks being driven in London were in an illegally dangerous state or were being driven illegally.
Stop Killing Cyclists petition author Fred Smith said:
“After yet another preventable killing at Vauxhall Cross we are calling for thousands of Londoners to sign this petition to pressure the Mayor to end the illegal truck epidemic on London’s roads and set a 2 year target to reduce illegality to a maximum of 1%, from its current estimated level of 30%”.
“Stop Killing Cyclists held a demonstration at Vauxhall Cross in December 2013, following the 6 awful November tragedies, calling for greater enforcement of truck safety regulations to protect London’s pedestrians and cyclists, yet almost nothing has changed. Dangerous illegal trucks keep putting Londoners lives at risk.
London’s vulnerable road users cannot tolerate TfL’s complacency any longer. The Mayor must target the killers not the victims.”
1. Stop Killing Cyclists is the direct action protest group set up after the recent spate of cyclist killings in London. They arranged the mass Die-In at TfL HQ where 1,500 cyclists laid down in the road in protest at lack of safety investment in London.
4. This press release was revised on 22nd June to add a quote from the author of the petition and to provide a clearer hotlink petition web address (item 2, above).
Full Text of Petition
“Following the tragic death of yet another cyclist at Vauxhall under the wheels of a HGV truck, Stop Killing Cyclists call on the London Mayor to urgently increase enforcement of Truck Safety Laws and set a target of pushing the level of illegally driven or in an illegally dangerous state trucks down below 1% by the end of 2015, from the current estimated 30% level.
The Mayor must:
Increase the funding to the Metropolitan Police Truck Enforcement Unit to achieve this target
Amend all TfL Bus and HGV contracts (including Crossrail) to ban the practice of penalising drivers using time or load-based key performance indicators (KPI)
Ban the use of iBus to text TfL Bus Drivers while they’re driving and introduce safety performance KPIs which reward drivers for driving safely
Why is this important?
In London over half cyclist fatalities involve HGVs, despite HGVs making up only 5% of traffic .
The Metropolitan Police found in one targeted action that as few as a third of lorries met safety regulations . The police must step up enforcement efforts to catch dangerous lorries before they kill more Londoners.
TfL and other bus and truck companies must stop using incentives which encourage dangerous driving, a practice which has been linked to the disproportionate number of accidents involving HGVs, especially those from the construction industry .
A TRL study showed texting whilst driving could be more dangerous than drink or drug driving . Therefore it is unacceptable that TfL is using a text based system to communicate with bus drivers while they are driving.
With one cycling death a month so far in 2014 and even more pedestrian deaths, urgent action must be taken to prevent further fatalities on our roads.”