Islington MP calls for more action on HGV/cyclist deaths in London
21.03.07 by Buffalo Bill
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.
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?
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.
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Ms Zollner’s family have asked for donations to Azafady. You can do that here