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:
On Friday, 13 March 2015, a ride, vigil and Die-In was held in conjunction with the Cyclist’s Defence Fund to remember Michael Mason who was killed in a crash on Regent Street a year earlier.
Mick was hit from behind by a car on 25 February 2014 and died in hospital 19 days later. The ride and vigil remembered not just Mick but also the many other people who have lost their lives on London’s roads and across the UK.
Thank you to everyone who came along tonight, particularly all the speakers, and especially to Mick’s daughter Anna Tatton Brown - a very powerful and moving speech. Also thank you again to the Met police who stopped the traffic, esp Seargent Paul Findlater who made sure all his officers took their caps off during the 2 minutes silence.
The coup of the night being so very welcome at All Souls Church, where we had great food, listened to wonderful Jazz music and our vigil and die-in and the message to make the roads safer for all, young and old, was incorporated into the sermon.
I spent my evening yesterday at the location of another road death, quietly contemplating with others all that is wrong with our streets and the miserable lack of UK road justice.
The police chose not to charge the driver and didn’t consult with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before making their decision.
The event last night was organised by Stop Killing Cyclists and the Cyclists Defence Fund (CDF). The latter are helping Mick Mason’s family to get answers from the police as to why they didn’t discuss the case with the CPS and are thinking about possibly carrying out a private prosecution of the driver. The CDF has launched a fundraising appeal to ensure there are sufficient funds in the event that a private prosecution is needed.
(photo: Gosia Cyganowsa)
Flowers for Mick (photo: Gosia Cyganowsa)
For more of Joe’s photos, please see his website: COTCH DOT NET
(photo: Joe Dunckley)
Roger Geffen, CTC (photo: Joe Dunckley)
(photo: Joe Dunckley)
(photo: Brenda Puech)
Roger Geffen of CTC with Nicola Branch (photo: Brenda Puech)
Caroline Russell with Nicola Branch (photo: Brenda Puech)
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.
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.
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. “
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