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Islington MP calls for more action on HGV/cyclist deaths in London
21.03.07 by Buffalo Bill

flowers near the spot where Madeleine Wright was killed

As reported by MT forum members, 2 London cyclists were recently killed by HGVs in Bloomsbury. They were: Madeline Wright, 26, killed on Pentonville Road, and Amelia Zollner, 24, killed in Russell Square.

It’s worth noting that Ms Wright was killed not very far from, perhaps even on the same junction on Pentonville Road as Joe Cooper, the first of seven London bicycle messengers known to have been killed by a lorry/HGV whilst working.

These deaths coincidentally occured within a month of my post accusing Ken Livingstone, cyclist-hating Mayor of London, and Transport for London of doing little or nothing to reduce the fatal threat from HGVs to London’s cyclists.

But it seems that I am not the only person to think that. Islington MP Emily Thornberry, quoted in the Islington Tribune’s report, says: “These are two terrible tragedies and my heart goes out to families and friends. Lorries have too many blind spots and we must campaign to make drivers more aware. ”

I emailed Ms Thornberry offering my support to her words. I hope she takes some action. Maybe if enough people e-mailed or wrote to her, she would feel encouraged to raise the issue with higher authorities.

Thanks to Alex Ball for spotting the article.

Further reports on the fatalities can be found in the Islington Gazette.

UPDATE
Matt Seaton has finally picked up on the issue in his two wheels column today in the Guardian. It is more than a year since I first wrote to him wondering why he wasn’t giving any attention to the HGV/cyclist problem. I’m not sure about the stats he’s quoted, as they appear to be from the original Islington Tribune report. The broad thrust is true: women are much more likely to be killed by an HGV. Whether it’s true that they represent 85% of the fatalities I can’t remember. But as he’s quoted Cynthia Barlow of Roadpeace, whom I know has a copy of the London Road Safety Unit report that he mentions, I guess they must be. Nice one, Matt, but what took so long?

ANOTHER UPDATE
Just found this paper googling ‘london cyclist killed’. In it the London Road Safety Unit says that 60 cyclists have been killed in London as the result of collisions with HGVs between Jan 1999 and Nov 2005. That’s slightly more than 8 London cyclists killed each year by lorries/HGVs.

DONATE TO AZAFADY
Ms Zollner’s family have asked for donations to Azafady. You can do that here

  1. I know the junction at pentoville road and it is a particularly stupid piece of road design. There are two lanes going down the hill to Kings Cross. At the junction with Penton road buses and cyclists can continue straight on into a single lane but both lanes of non bus traffic filter to the left into two lanes going into penton road. This leaves cyclists having to go across the path of cars and trucks who are turning left at speed and probably not expecting a cyclists to be going across their path. It is a route best avoided by cyclists. There is a cycle route that goes from Islington to Kings cross but it is not signposted at the junction with Angel or at the junction going west between pentoville road and amwell street. The best place to access this route would be at the junction with mylne street however this is pedestrianised with no cycle access. This is not to say that HGV lorries are not dangerous things to be around


    — Alasdair    2 June 2007, 10:38    #
  2. that junction sucks. everyone that knows it gets on the outside of the traffic as you run down the hill so as to slip outside of the traffic.

    the council should put up some signs warning drivers or tell cyclists to dismount maybe?


    — seven    2 June 2007, 12:19    #
  3. It is really a big challenge for Ken Livingstone to ensure the safety of London cyclists. I previously always thought that it’s safe enough to walk or ride bikes here. But,…:(
    My deepest condolence to the family of Amelie Zollner (my former classmate at UCL’s Graduate School). She will always be in our heart


    — Israr Ardiansyah    31 October 2007, 13:16    #
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