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An event to commemorate Ying Tao, 26, who died on 22nd June at the scene of the crash at Bank junction, run over by a tipper truck. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.
An event to commemorate Ying Tao, 26, who died on 22nd June at the scene of the crash at Bank junction, run over by a tipper truck. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.
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  • The first of the three cyclist deaths, that of Esther Hartsilver, was honoured by a large Die-In at Camberwell Green. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.
    The first of the three cyclist deaths, that of Esther Hartsilver, was honoured by a large Die-In at Camberwell Green. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.
  • Cyclist Ying Tao, 26, was hit at Bank junction in the City. Photo: Twitter / @MissHerrando.
    Cyclist Ying Tao, 26, was hit at Bank junction in the City. Photo: Twitter / @MissHerrando.
  • A climber affixing a Stop Killing Cyclists placard atop a tall pole in the middle of Bank junction, to loud cheers. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.
    A climber affixing a Stop Killing Cyclists placard atop a tall pole in the middle of Bank junction, to loud cheers. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.

Tonight, join the silent roar: stop killing cyclists!

Donnachadh McCarthy

29th June 2015

Following a monstrous spate of cyclist deaths in London, protestors are gathering outside the Bank of England tonight to demand: stop killing cyclists! The UK's peaceful cycling revolution is now under way, writes Donnachadh McCarthy, who invites us all to join the movement to make our cities safe for humans.

All the authorities responsible for cyclist and pedestrian safety must enable London to become the 21st century city that most of its residents aspire to - safe, clean and beautiful for humans!

London has suffered yet another bunch of brutal cyclist killings, with 3 cyclists being killed over the last two weeks.

The latest tragedy took place right in the heart of the city at the historic Bank junction in front of the Bank of England.

This has struck a raw chord of anger among cyclists and unusually not one but three major protests have been organised at the junction by various groups.

These culminate tonight in a major Die-In and Vigil in honour of the latest two deaths of Ying Tao, 26, a financial services worker, and Clifton James, 61, a mechanic. Up to a thousand cyclists, pedestrians and motorists are expected to attend, with many London mayoral candidates also supporting the protest.

The first of the three deaths, that of physiotherapist Esther Hartsilver, 32, had already been honoured by a large Die-In at Camberwell Green where she was killed just a week previously.

The UK's peaceful cycling revolution has begun

Protestors tonight will again lay down on the road with their bikes and bring the city to a silent prostrated symbolic tribute to the fallen. Organisers have called for this to be a dignified peaceful silent roar that goes out loud and clear around the world, from this iconic historic junction.

We need and we want and we will have our peaceful beautiful cycling revolution now! Indeed it is already under way.

The first protest event at Bank junction was a flash-mob organised by LCC on Wednesday morning, which brought the junction to a halt for a minute's silence, with hundreds of cyclists attending at 8.30am.

The second protest led to some amazing scenes at the Bank junction on Friday night by the Bank of England, when the monthly informal Critical Mass cycle ride with over 600 cyclists, halted at the site of the tragic killing of Ying Tao. It brought the traffic on all seven major roads meeting at this terrible junction to a halt for nearly thirty minutes.

The whole junction was filled with cyclists and they did a bike-lift in her honour. A young man grabbed the Stop Killing Cyclists placard that one of the attendees had brought with him and feeding off the raw emotions of the crowd, climbed a tall pole in the middle of the junction and attached it there, to loud cheers!

A demand from all the people of London

A high level executive from one major City of London accountancy firm said over 100 of their staff had already committed to coming to the Die-In. Recently married, Ying Tao had been a management consultant with PWC.

This reflects the fact that thousands of City staff now cycle to work, as these educated young professionals know it is the healthiest and most economical way to travel to work in the City. Over one third of the traffic at Bank junction at rush hour is now cyclists - yet absolutely no safe infrastructure is provided.

The situation is equally dire in the suburbs, for example in Harrow where Clifton James, killed by a speeding car just minutes from his home, worked as a mechanic. Likewise in 'outer city' areas like Camberwell, where Esther Hartsilver, a physiotherapist at Kings College Hospital, was killed by a groceries lorry on Denmark Hill.

Stop Killing Cyclists announced that the event will call for London's Mayor to summon an emergency 'Killer Tipper' Summit to deal with this plague killing London's cyclists. Seven of the eight cyclists killed already in 2015 have been killed by left-turning trucks.

The other major demands for the protest include:

  • Close Bank junction to motorised traffic and make it into a beautiful people-friendly square at the heart of the City.
  • City of London Corporation to drop its long-standing official opposition to protected cycle lanes.
  • Compulsory CCTV for the left hand side of all Tippers/HGVs to eliminate blind spots - it should not be the responsibility of pedestrians or cyclists to memorise the design defects of dangerous motor vehicles.
  • Ban on Tipper Trucks in central London during morning and evening rush-hours.
  • TfL and City of London to allocate 10% of transport budget to cycling infrastructure.


This really is the moment when everybody, the Corporation of London, Stop Killing Cyclists, LCC and pedestrian campaigners can all unite to ensure that these awful brutal killings are brought to an end.

The City of London, Transport for London and all the other dinosaur London Boroughs responsible for cyclist and pedestrian safety must pull their fingers out - and enable London to become the 21st century city that most of its residents aspire to - safe, clean and beautiful for humans!

 


 

Protest: Bank Die-In tonight, Monday 29th June 2015 at 5:30pm, outside the Bank of England, Bank Junction, City of London, EC4N 8BH. See also the event page on Facebook. Protesters are asked to bring candles and placards.

Donnachadh McCarthy is a founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, a member of Occupy Democracy, co-organiser for Occupy Rupert Murdoch Week, a former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats, and author of 'The Prostitute State - How Britain's Democracy Has Been Bought'. He can be reached via his website 3acorns. Follow on Facebook.

More: Stop Killing Cyclists website and Facebook.

Twitter: Hashtag #StopKillingCyclists

 

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