A Terrible Place to Walk or Cycle;
Local Death, Local Action
* For immediate release *
For the fourth time this year, Stop Killing Cyclists, the cycling activist group, will commemorate with a Vigil and Die-In a person killed, while riding a bicycle, by a lorry being driven through our streets.
The person being remembered is 36 year old Claire Hitier-Abadie, who died when her bicycle was hit by a Cross Rail lorry as she cycled through the road works at Bressenden Place near Victoria Station on Thursday, 19 February.
Stop Killing Cyclists will start their protest outside Westminster City Hall in Victoria Street, gathering to music from 5pm on Monday 2nd March 2015.
From 5.30 there will be speakers who campaign for safer streets for people who walk and cycle in Westminster. These include Tom Kearney, Oxford Street Collision Survivor & TfL Bus Safety Campaigner; Caroline Russell, Walking and Cycling campaigner; speakers from Westminster Living Streets, and representatives from Road Peace.
Westminster City Council is notorious for poor cycling provision, and must take responsibility, along with Transport for London and the construction industry, for this latest tragedy. This area, outside one of the busiest stations in London, is terribly dangerous for people on foot or bicycle.
At 6.30, the vigil for Claire will begin, still at Westminster City Hall rather than on the dangerous corner of Bressenden Place where she died.
In this, sadly now familiar ritual, short speeches will be offered along with a candle-lit ghost bike before everyone lies on the ground, with their bikes, to silently commemorate Claire Hitier-Abadie.
Traffic will be brought to a standstill for two minutes, and all will be given a space to contemplate the terrible price paid by cyclists and pedestrians through traffic violence in London.
Stop Killing Cyclists calls on Westminster City Council and Transport for London to truly recognise that cycling must be a priority for road design and transport planning if London is to become a safe place for everyone to cycle, not just the fit and the brave, but the pensioner, the child, the parent taking children to school, the ordinary person going about their daily business.
Transport for London must appoint cycling representatives to its board, to balance the representatives of the HGV and taxi industries. It should allocate 10% of its budget to cycling provision, and ensure that every facet of road maintenance, building and planning considers the needs of cyclists.
Westminster City Council must take immediate action to provide protected lanes for people who cycle in this busy area. If our streets are allowed to become construction sites, as has happened outside Victoria Station, then construction site standards must apply to vehicles on them, with restrictions on movements, careful checking and provision for those who must pass through.
Vigil Co-organiser Abby Taubin said:
“We must put an end to these terrible tragedies and invest in making our roads safe for all who use them. “
Release Dated: 24 February 2015
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.
Photos and information about previous vigils can be found on our website at http://StopKillingCyclists.org. All photos on the website are available for media use - with credit given to the photographer and Stop Killing Cyclists.
Representatives are available for interviews and media contact by emailing [email protected] or by calling 07947 884299.
We would like to highlight this video about road danger in Westminster; it was published in January by Rod King of the 20’s Plenty campaign: http://youtu.be/-sNImwSaC1k