By Feargus O'Sullivan, December 2, 2013
Cyclists staged a "Die-in" in London on Friday to protest a recent
spate of cycling deaths on the city's roads. Massing outside the offices
of Transport for London, the body governing city transit, protestors
lay down in the road way, lit candles and held a moment of silence for
the cyclists who have died recently on London's streets—a group
currently growing at an alarming rate. Five London cyclists died in
collisions with motor vehicles over just nine days in November. The atmosphere has gotten so bad that an estimated 20 percent of London cyclists have stopped bike commuting due to safety fears.
While London Mayor Boris Johnson is famously a cycling fan, he's caused some controversy by blaming "very risky" behavior from cyclists for the deaths. In fact, many of the problems stem from London’s poor cycling infrastructure.
Blue painted bike paths – grandly called "cycle superhighways" –
threaded through the British capital certainly give bike users the
illusion of protection. But they rarely have any real, protected
separation from motor traffic, and several recent deaths have happened
in spaces that cyclists are encouraged to consider safer. Transport for
London have come under fire for the deaths, but say they are spending $1
billion on improving the city's roads.
For Friday's protesters, this disputed figure didn't go far enough. "We
want a real budget, at the moment we're getting crumbs," said protest organizer Donnachadh McCarthy "We want an integrated cycling network in London within five years and we want a say at the top table."
The photos below, of Friday’s protest, were originally published in the UK’s Cycling Weekly.