Paul Burgoine went along to the Stop Killing Cyclists vigil outside the offices of Transport For London on Friday evening and here are his thoughts and observations.
The group that petitions for safer cycling in the capital held there annual ‘Die In’ and this year had 21 white coffins to represent people that had been killed of the capitals streets.
There were many speakers at the event and some wonderful singing in memory of the lost by Ted Browne, but for me there was one speaker who without being political said it all, Belgian National Deborah Willemen, here is that address she made to the crowd with her son along side her.
“ Three months ago I arrived in London with my children from Belgium, three weeks later I was hit on a cycle path on a busy road by a driver, I was riding a 100k cargo bike at the time, bike bike got pushed on its side and I was thrown off luckily I didn’t have my children with me at the time and I came out of the accident with only a few bruises, today I stand here before you lucky to be alive, in the three months I have been cycling here I can not count the number of near misses, the “sorry I didn’t see you “ comments and the verbal abuse from some drivers.
All I want to do is cycle safely with my children from A to B, the school run, shopping and once in a while a cycling adventure, women cyclists are outnumbered on the roads by men three to one, and men cycle four time more than women, however…out of the eight cycling deaths this year six of then were women, so I’m standing here today to tell the decision makers enough is enough I do not want to come here to a die in and cry out and mourn for those lost on these streets, but as long as people lose their lives over here I have no choice, this is why I among many women and mothers demand proper segregated cycle routes so we can get on with our lives without the daily fear of being run over, we do not want to become another statistic and a new name on the next die in list, our lives are precious its about time TFL and policy makers start realising the same”