Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London, needs to tackle the appalling situation that an estimated 30% of the trucks on London’s roads are being driven in an illegally dangerous state or illegally driven.
His cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, twisted my fact about Boris targeting cyclists with fines at a rate 8 times higher than the trucks that are killing us, into a stat about all drivers, which is not what I said…..
I said the Mayor [Met Police] fined cyclists at a rate 8 times higher than the trucks that were killing us ( 4,000 fines for cyclists - 600 for trucks) - Gilligan attacked me saying I was wrong saying that they fined drivers 71% and Cyclists 29% and stating cyclists were 29% of inner London vehicles (?!!) but note he switched from TRUCKs to DRIVERS!!
Stop Killing Cyclists Condemn
London Mayor’s Photo Stunt
when his Traffic Enforcement Measures
are in Chaos
Dated: 27th May 2014
Whilst the London Mayor stages yet another photo-opportunity stunt today, Stop Killing Cyclists call on him to instead urgently tackle the real crises, failures and bias in London’s Road Safety Enforcement.
1. Mayor’s Failure on Dangerous Trucks
The London Mayor promised increased funding for safety inspections of the lethal trucks which are responsible for the majority of recent cycling killings and numerous pedestrian deaths. But the project was delayed due to a recruitment freeze forced on the Metropolitan Police by the Mayor.
2. Mayor’s Failure on RoadSafe
The London Mayor also promised increased funding for the video online reporting system RoadSafe London. But again the project was delayed due to the same recruitment freeze imposed by the same Mayor who promised increased staffing. The lack of staff meant that many video-reports by the public went unanswered for weeks on end, making a mockery of the system.
3. Mayor’s Failure on Cycle Lane Enforcement
The enforcement of mandatory cycle lanes across London is in chaos as there are so many different groups responsible for the enforcement of cycle-lanes that the Metropolitan Police on the ground almost never know whether they can enforce illegal parking in the lanes or not and so almost nobody bothers.
4. Mayor’s Biased War on Victims
The Mayor wrongly claimed that Operation Safeway was not biased against the victims of truck killings i.e. cyclists. Yet it actually issued Fixed Penalty Notices to cyclists at a rate nearly 8 times higher than to drivers based on the actual numbers on the roads.
Meanwhile In just one truck enforcement action carried out by the Metropolitan Police during Operation Safeway a horrifying 70% of trucks or truck drivers were found to be in a dangerous condition or were being driven illegally.
“The Mayor rather than staging photo-stunts should sort out the mess his Traffic Enforcement schemes are in. Police resources should be targeted at the truly alarming levels of lethal trucks being driven on London’s roads.
Whilst he fiddles, cyclist and pedestrian lives continue to be endangered by dangerous trucks being driven illegally on London’s roads and children are forced into the path of double-decker buses by inconsiderate drivers parked on un-enforced cycle-lanes.”
“We recognise that safety enforcement should be targeted at all road users including cyclists, but it must be targeted in proportion to the danger caused and in proportion to numbers using our streets.
Operation Safeway failed on both counts and the Mayor and Metropolitan Police must ensure future operations do not mimic this flawed approach.”
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 lay down in the road in protest at lack of safety investment in London.
30% of Fixed Penalty Notices were issued to cyclists during Operation Safeway, whilst cyclists made up less than 4% of vehicles on London’s roads.
96% of injuries due to Red Light Jumping are caused by motorists. 99.7% of pedestrian casualties are caused by motorists.
Over 10,000 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed and injured on London’s roads since the Mayor was elected.
No extra funding has been allocated to cycling safety since the November spate of cycling tragedies, despite the London Mayor claiming that cycling safety is one of his top priorities.
The proposed 10 year Mayoral cycling budget has remained at 1.2% of TfL’s total budget despite the fact that cyclists make up 4% of traffic and despite numerous repeated press-releases and photo-opportunities since then on already agreed funded projects.
Stop Killing Cyclists are demanding that 10% of the TfL budget be invested in cycling infrastructure in future.
I thought it was one of our best events to date and believe a really powerful, moving and effective message was sent to TfL, Southwark and London - no more killing!
Today’s event involved a huge array of people voluntarily helping in one way or another - remember today’s event was purely grassroots organised with no money and no organisation - so I think what you all managed to create was awesome and I am know that Steve joins me in saying a huge thank you.
Just look at this picture!!! It summarises so well what is needed in a moving, graphic and dignified direct-action protest.
One quick piece of feedback - Will and Luke urged me to take on Simon Hughes MP, the Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties, who showed up at the event and was speaking to Live TV.
Loathe to allow him to give a government spin on what was happening, I interrupted his interview gently and challenged him live on air about his and his party and his administration’s record, which in my view is just as bad as Val Shawcross’s Labour GLA and Southwark Council.
As a result he invited us to come into his offce next week to go over our entire list of demands at national and local level.
Yes We Can!
(UPDATE: more thank yous after the video - scroll down)
Before we move on from this week’s Direct Action at the Elephant, it’s important to thank the many many people who helped make it the great and important success that it was.
Fred Smith - who set up FB event and organised the chalk and so much else. Andrew D Smith - for printing and handng out the flyers. Abby Taubin - for flyering and reading out the Heaney poem. Will Nickell - for bringing a cycle trailer of stuff across London and ensuring victims had a voice at the event.
Paul Brocklehurst for sorting out emergency tape and chair!
Krisztian Hajdu for banner and roundels Graham Neale and Luisa Pretolani for sorting out overhead camera crew Chris Lemin - for bringing PA and Mike Andrew Reeves-Hall - for doing great stuff on website
Steve for doing the flyer graphics Nic Fripp - for loan of cycle trailer Luke Holland for helping me organise lane drawing
Rhiannon Redpath for asking 38 degrees to FB event
Jenny Jones and Natalie Bennett for tweeting the event
ITV, London Live, Evening Standard, South London Press, Road CC, Southwark News etc for letting their audiences know about protest beforehand. Tom Kearney for his moral support David Fonseca for the posters Karl Roche for useful profile graphic
To all who tweeted and emailed and Facebooked the event including the enthusiastic Mad Munk
The mums and dads who brought their kids
To all who wrote powerful messages on the drawn in cycle lane
To the many talented photographers who ensured our visual message was recorded and seen by many.
To the Met police who helped the public get past the protest and who allowed us chalk the cycle lane without hassle
And most importantly to the women, men and kids who turned up and lay down in Direct Action protest including people who cycle, walk and drive.
Yes You Did - And Yes We Can!
We are hugely grateful for what all you guys did - this event and all Stop Killing Cyclists activities are organised with no funding and no professional staff - so it is you guys who make the miracles possible.
Remember: this protest is taking place at the southern intersection, next to the Strata building.
Dignified and Peaceful
Some family members of those killed and injured may be attending - so we are asking that people treat the event as a dignified peaceful Direct Action expressing our anger but our peaceful determination to get emergency action to protect cyclists and pedestrians asap from Southwark Council and TfL.
Approximate timings of the event today - rain or shine. Subject to change depending on situation, weather and media goals.
The Die-In may take place before the Rally at 6pm as London Tonight, Evening Standard, Live TV, South London Press and Southwark News have all said they want to cover the event - possibly on their evening broadcast.
The police have been very helpful liaising to ensure its safe.
NOTE: Timetable may vary slightly from that published. Be there for 5:30p and then you won’t miss a thing!
5:00 Pre-event meet-up for volunteers to sketch the outline of where a segregated cycle lane should go
5:30 Start of “Draw-In” event. Protesters invited to colour in the cycle route in whatever way they feel moved to -whether images or messages. We must be respectful as the protest is a result of Abdelkhars Lahyani’s terrible death last week.
6:00 Die-In (bring something soft for lying on the ground!)
6:10 Rally - speech by Steve. Poem to be read by Abby. Special message to the protest from Thames Street victim Bart Chan to be read out by Will. Possibly other statements.
Over 350 cyclists have already signed up to attend a protest at London’s most dangerous junction this Wednesday, following the death of Abdelkhalak Lahyani last Monday at Elephant & Castle. Protesters are so frustrated at the lack of urgent action that they will chalk in the route of the segregated cycle-lane that Southwark Council and TfL failed to include in the recent multi-million junction refurbishment, despite the calls by campaigners to do so.
“This was not an accident but a designed-in killing. TfL insisted on lethally prioritising traffic speeds through the junction and Southwark Council’s Transport Plan opposes segregated cycle-lanes.”
“Southwark was warned that its policy of using cyclists bodies to slow HGV trucks and buses would end up in carnage on our streets. It is time now for Southwark & TfL to send in emergency crews to install the safe segregated left-hand turn by-passes that campaigners have demanded for years.”
Stop Killing Cyclists have consulted professional traffic engineers and they confirm our proposals are sensible, practical and cost less than £10,000. Action is now needed before yet more lives are needlessly sacrificed and families cruelly torn-apart.
1. Stop Killing Cyclists is the direct action protest group set up after the spate of cyclist killings in London, in November 2013. They arranged the mass Die-In at TfL HQ where 1,500 cyclists lay down in the road in protest at lack of safety investment in London.
2. The London boroughs, including Southwark, are responsible for 95% of London’s roads, whereas the London Mayor and TfL control the remaining 5%, i.e. the very large arterial routes.
3. Southwark Council has not installed a single metre of segregated cycle-lane in the 3 years since their Head of Planning, Simon Bevan announced a policy of using cyclists to slow the traffic.
4. The Southern Roundabout where the tragedy took place was resigned in 2010. The redesign was planned to speed traffic flow and failed to install any adequate physical protection for cyclists, despite TfL being told their designs failed to protect them.
5. A recent FOI survey by Stop Killing Cyclists revealed that 24 London Boroughs had installed ZERO metres of segregated cycle-lanes since the last elections in 2010.
To mark yet another unnecessary cycling tragedy at the Elephant & Castle and to protest at the continued total failure by Southwark Council and TfL to install emergency protected by-passes at dangerous junctions across London such as the Elephant, we will draw in Green and White Chalk the protected cycle-lane that Southwark and TfL should be installing immediately.
We will also stage a die-in with our bodies and bikes along the route of the urgently necessary cycle-lane.
“The carnage from trucks horrendously killing cyclists at Left-Hand-Turns has got to stop. Southwark, TfL and the other London Boroughs need to urgently install safe protected turns at junctions across London urgently, where there is sufficient space for pedestrians and cyclists.“
“Stop Killing Cyclists are so frustrated at the lack of action, that we will ourselves on Wednesday draw in green and white chalk the route of a protected junction cycle by-pass that Southwark and TfL lethally left out of the recent multi-million refurbishment of the southern Elephant junction.
Alongside the chalked cycle-lane, we will also stage a Die-In to represent the hundreds of London pedestrians and cyclists being killed unnecessarily on our City’s roads. We welcome all road users to the protest.“
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 lay down in the road in protest at lack of safety investment in London.
2. The London Boroughs including Southwark are responsible for 95% of London’s roads, whereas the London Mayor and TfL control the remaining 5% i.e. the very large arterial routes.
3. Southwark Council has not installed a single meter of segregated cycle-lane in the 3 years since their Head of Planning, Simon Bevan announced a policy of using cyclists to slow the traffic.