Cyclist death at Ludgate Circus increases calls for Cycle Superhighway improvements

After a female cyclist died on Friday in a collision with a lorry, calls emerge for the Mayor of London to further improve Cycle Superhighways

Calls for the Mayor to advance plans for improved Cycle Superhighways have emerged following the death of a woman cycling on one of the proposed routes.

The 26-year-old woman collided with a left turning lorry on Friday at Ludgate Circus, on the same junction where another cyclist died in April.

The junction, where six cyclists were killed or seriously injured between 2008-2012, lies along the proposed North-South cycle superhighway route whose designs were released by Transport for London in September.

Darren Johnson, London Assembly Green Party Member, said: “We have had two fatalities at Ludgate Circus within the last year and a total of eight people killed or seriously injured since Boris Johnson was elected Mayor.

“Every cyclist death is an individual tragedy and I feel for their friends and relatives, but all of them add up to public scandal of neglect on our roads. We need to put a stop to deaths and serious injuries on our roads and the first step to doing this is to push through the plans for segregated cycle lanes.

“If the price of safer cycling is an increase in minor delays for motorists, then we should have no hesitation in creating Dutch style cycle lanes,” said Johnson.

“I am concerned that Transport for London and the Mayor are acting so slowly to create safe spaces for cycling. All of these plans need to be fast tracked. Every delay in the superhighways and safer junctions potentially could costs lives and risk further injuries. That is simply not acceptable.”

Victor Manuel Ben Rodriguez died in April at Ludgate Circus while on his way to a job interview.

Today’s fatality has also led to stronger criticism of Canary Wharf Group’s opposition to the segregated cycle routes, which some business leaders fear will slow car journeys. Those supporting the routes say they would remove the risk of collisions of this nature.

Last week a YouGov poll showed most Londoners support the proposed routes, as calls grow from businesses to make London’s roads safer for those who already cycle and for those who want to but are afraid to.

London Cycling Campaign’s Chief Executive, Ashok Sinha, said there is every possibility the routes could go ahead quickly once the consultation ends on November 9. He added the level of support the schemes have seen give the mayor a “massive mandate” to go ahead with the routes.

“When the consultations opened up we put online a facility to email direct and 5,000 have emailed TfL,” he said.

“We understand that there are things that need to be ironed out and people will be concerned about congestion but it is going to be much more congested if we don’t get people on their bikes. “We are saying after the consultation period has gone through we expect the Mayor to be able to crack on, on the basis of this mandate.”

The London Cycling Campaign said on its Facebook page: “We’re very saddened to hear that the cyclist who collided with HGV on Friday at Ludgate Hill has died. Our thoughts are with the family & friends.”

A protest march is being held on 15 November in Bedford Square, London, organised by Stop the Killing, calling for national action on road safety for adults and children who walk and cycle, as well as action on air pollution.