Stop Killing Cyclists “Die-In” 8th November 2017

Jerome Rousel
Jerome Roussel
Another cyclist dies on London’s deadly, polluted roadways. On 8th November cycling campaigners came together with the people of Islington to remember father of four Jerome Roussel who, as so many before him, was killed in a collision with a Heavy Goods Vehicle.
Caroline Russell
Caroline Russell, Green Party rep on Islington Council
At this protest and “die-in” there was a feeling of growing anger and frustration at Islington Council, who were watching from the building that formed a backdrop to the commemoration.  This anger was articulated in the speeches given by, among others, Caroline Russell, representative of the Green Party on Islington Council as well as the London Assembly, and Donnachadh McCarthy, founder of the Stop Killing Cyclists pressure group that had organised this event.
Jeremy Parker
Solidarity at the Stop Killing Cyclists Die In
But without doubt the most affecting address was the one given by Victoria Lebrec, another victim of Islington’s roads who had her leg amputated after it was crushed by a HGV.  Ms Lebrec branded Islington Council’s lack of action on cycling safety “an insult”.  And it is no wonder, when, despite having cash reserves that have swelled to over a quarter of a billion pounds, this local authority has built no protected cycleways in the last TWENTY YEARS.
Despite the deaths. Despite the life-changing injuries.
Not a metre.
Victoria Lebrec
Victoria Lebrec, a victim of Islington’s dangerous roads
Shame on you Islington Council.
The focal point of the commemoration was the moment when the members of the protest walked out into the road in front of the Islington council building and “died”. For ten minutes we lay motionless in a symbolic gesture, and a cry for action, while the police held the traffic at bay.
Donnachad McCarthy
Donnachad McCarthy, founder of Stop Killing Cyclists
It is to be hoped that action will now be taken, and that Islington’s long wait for safer highways will soon be at least partially ameliorated. The council’s reaction to this situation, a pithy statement on Twitter that they were “open” to improvements in cycling facilities, hardly makes for a solid commitment, but we will see.
Meanwhile, the very next day after this demonstration, and a week and a half after a protest in Ealing that followed after the death of Claudia Manera, another cyclist is killed in West London. And yet again the culprit is a heavy goods vehicle.
Stop Killing Cyclists
Pictures: Peter Marshall

Demonstration – Make Uxbridge Road Safe

 

On Saturday 28th November the people of Ealing came together to pay tribute to Claudia Manera, a keen cyclist and runner who had dedicated her life to helping others – first as a policewoman and later as a personal trainer. Claudia tragically perished after a collision with a lorry at the junction of Northfields Avenue and the Uxbridge Road. Claudia passed away in hospital on 19th October, a week after the accident.

 

As well as remembering Claudia, people had come to demand that the Uxbridge Road, the main highway that runs through Hanwell, West Ealing and Ealing Broadway as it heads towards central London be made safer. This incident is only the latest in a string of deaths and injuries that have stricken cyclists and pedestrians in recent years.

The turnout for the demonstration was excellent, and the most moving moments came during the minute’s silence, held at the junction where Claudia met her fate, and later a tribute that was read out for her, first in English and then in the language of Italy, from where Claudia’s family hail.

The Ealing Cycling Campaign group are to be commended for organising a powerful tribute that dignitaries including the head of Ealing council and a local member of parliament
felt compelled to attend. And we can only hope that the message of this protest has struck home, and that this will be the last time we come together to mourn a victim of Uxbridge Road’s deadly junction.

Of all the signs and banners on display, perhaps the most hard hitting one was directed at Ealing Council, condemning them for thirty years of prevarication regarding the dangers of this highway, even as cyclists and pedestrians suffered repeatedly. Surely now Enough is indeed Enough and something must be done.  Time to make Uxbridge Road safe.

Pictures: Peter Marshall

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