Dozens attend road deaths vigil

Photo by Andreas Kambanis at londoncyclist.co.uk

Over 100 people gathered on the King’s Cross station forecourt for a candlelit memorial for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists killed on London’s roads this year.

It was a joint effort by London Cycling Campaign, Living Streets, Road Peace and bike bloggers to maintain the anger that has been steadily building over months over the grave risks posed by car-centred road and junction design.

Mark Ames, cycling blogger and organiser of the recent Tour du Danger, read out the names and ages of the 16 cyclists killed in the capital this year, he said: “The focus is on cyclists, but only for technical reasons. If I were to read out the names of all the pedestrians killed, we’d be here till Christmas. And that is a travesty.”

In memoriam:
Ellie Carey, 22
Svitlana Tereschenko, 34
Brian Dorling, 58
Deep Lee, 24
Sam Harding, 25
Johannah Bailey, 49
Paul McGreal, 44
Michael Evans, 62
Thomas Stone, 13
Naoko Miyazaki, 35
Gavin Taylor, 40
Paula Jurek, 20
David Poblet, 20
Tom Barrett, 44
Daniel Cox, 28
Gary Mason, 48

Also present in the crowd were family members of recent crash victims, including Kenji Hirasawa, boyfriend of Deep Lee. He has recently been in talks with Transport for London, who wanted to remove the nearby Ghost Bike.

A minute’s silence was observed. But not before a heated exchange between Network Rail’s security and the campaigners handing out leaflets, who were castigated for obstructing the pavement in the rush hour crowds. Not safe on the road and now not welcome to gather on the pavement – it was an excessive reaction. And ironic, as the poor design of the junction creates overcrowding and herding of pedestrians every day.

The vigil is the latest in a rash of activity and mobilisation among London’s cycling community: flash rides, the aforementioned Tour du Danger, walkabouts, public meetings and DIY junction redesign proposals. But so far Transport for London’s position remains immovable: vehicle traffic must not be slowed.

With all the palpable frustration, I wasn’t surprised when I got home to read on one of the flyers that had been thrust into my hand: “Polite meetings and symbolic action are having no effect. We need to act.” It advocates direct action by a crowd of cyclists to bring King’s Cross junction to a halt on 9 January from 6 to 7pm.

Clare Hill

About Clare Hill

Clare is a writer and editor who lived in King’s Cross for a decade. She is passionate about local history, transport and food. Contact Clare by commenting on her posts or go to http://www.clarehill.net
This entry was posted in Road Safety in Kings Cross. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Dozens attend road deaths vigil

  1. Albert Beale says:

    From: Albert Beale, 5 Caledonian Road, N1 (020-7278 4474; worldpeace@gn.apc.org).
    Thanks, Clare, for the report.
    Just a bit of extra information about the proposed 9 January action, as per the inspiring leaflet you quoted from:
    It suggests we must rebalance road usage “to prioritise people over machines”, and asserts that, “Major changes at busy, dangerous junctions are essential… If TfL won’t make an immediate commitment … then cyclists and others must take our own action.”
    It suggests that on Monday 9 January, large numbers of cyclists and others should peacefully close the Kings Cross junction for an hour, from 6pm, and says that unless TfL then made firm commitments to make changes, “What if hundreds of us returned the following week and closed the junction for an hour again? What if we did this every week until there was a guarantee of the changes needed to make us safer?”
    The contact on the leaflet is BikesAlive@London.com.

  2. CLARE MANY THANKS – AN EXCELLENT REPORT! Sorry I could not be there, the event collided with first night of Hanukkah.

  3. For those unable to be there last night, video clips of speakers etc can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/LivingStreetsKX

  4. Sarah Ward says:

    Thanks for the lovely write-up. I was there and found it a moving experience.
    I’m also happy to hear that some direct action is planned in the New Year (I didn’t see a leaflet). Count me in!

  5. Pingback: TfL shifts on KX killer gyratory | Kings Cross Environment

  6. Ian says:

    Network Rail ‘security’ – what a bunch of goons, who appear to believe that they have the right to decide what happens on the pavements around here. I take it that Network Rail and Tfl hate the publicity and the constant reminder that a touching memorial has created, reminding everyone of their negligence and indifference to people instead of cars and lorries.

  7. Pingback: Thursday’s London Links

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  9. Deyika says:

    Hi.

    I ended up writing a piece on ghost bikes (http://hulmegreenparty.blogspot.com/2012/01/northern-view-ghosts-of-london.html) when I passed Min Joo’s bike a few weeks a ago. I referenced your blog post above which is great. Hope thats ok.

    And I’m assuming the event on Monday is still on?

  10. Pingback: Deep Lee: one year on | Kings Cross Environment

  11. Pingback: TfL agree to review of #KingsCross dangerous roads « Chris Richards

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