Cycling Organisation Leader Warns People About Dangers Of Biking In The Capital
The leader of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) believes there are parts of the city where bikers are not receiving adequate protection.
Chief executive of the group Ashok Sinha told the House of Commons Transport Committee that a combination of poor quality infrastructure and irresponsible drivers has made cycling in London hazardous.
"There are places and times in London when you are not protected as well as you should be [as a cyclist] and you are at risk," he commented.
"I would say to cyclists, 'Yes, keep cycling in London, but there are dangers in places and particular circumstances'."
His comments came shortly after six cyclists lost their lives while travelling in London during a two-week period in November.
The incidents have sparked a great deal of debate about the best ways to reduce the number of cyclist deaths across the UK.
Campaigners staged a "die-in" protest outside the Transport for London (TfL) offices on Blackfriars Road on Friday (November 29th) in order to voice their concerns about the apparent lack of protection afforded to cyclists in the capital.
The protesters called for cycling organisations to have two representatives added to the TfL board and also want to see more money spent of cycling infrastructure. According to the LCC, many people would like the UK to replicate the Netherlands, which is renowned for being bike-friendly.
Commenting on the campaign, Mr Sinha said he understood the frustrations of London's cyclists following the recent "avoidable deaths".
"We support the rights of cyclists to protest peacefully to improve safety conditions," he remarked.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police commander Dave Martin refuted claims there is an ongoing "war" between cyclists and motorists, but he conceded that the recent spate of deaths is a real cause for concern.
He said cyclists and vehicle drivers are both guilty of irresponsible behaviour, such as skipping red lights, that puts themselves and other road users in danger.
Too many motorists, he added, are also still using mobile phones while behind the wheel.
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The ongoing debate around cycling safety in London is an important one following what has been a hugely difficult few weeks in the capital.
"It is absolutely vital that road safety organisations, authorities in the capital and the government in general continue to review the continuing problems seen in relation to road safety in London and across the UK, with the primary aim of learning lessons and determining what can be done to make the roads safe for everyone who travels on them.
"Through our work we have seen how serious injuries on the roads can be caused by a range of factors, such as irresponsible driving, poor quality infrastructure and many other issues.
"As the debate on this topic shows, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to improving safety on the roads and we hope that all relevant parties are able to continue to assess every aspect to ensure that the welfare of everyone travelling on roads is an absolute priority."
Stephen Nye - Partner