LONDON Nov 14 The deaths of five cyclists in
just nine days on the roads this month in London have prompted
calls for the city's mayor Boris Johnson to speed up road safety
measures in the capital.
The fatalities have been caused through collisions with
buses, lorries and a coach. Three more cyclists remain in
So far this year, 13 cyclists have been killed on London's
Darren Johnson, a Green Party London Assembly member and a
member of the assembly Transport Committee, said the mayor
needed to act.
"Unfortunately, while the mayor has been a keen advocate of
cycling and a keen champion of cycling, he's failed to put the
necessary infrastructure in place to make cycling as safe as
possible in London," he told Reuters.
"I think the mayor has really got to use these tragic deaths
as a wake-up call, and really get to grips with making our
streets safer for cyclists."
Safety campaigners have criticised initiatives such as
blue-painted cycle "superhighways" and separate traffic lights,
for not providing adequate protection.
"It's absolutely right that we get the infrastructure in
place, but sadly all too often it has just been about putting
blue paint on the road, not actually preventing traffic using
the cycle superhighways," Darren Johnson said.
Since 2000, the number of cyclists in London has risen by
almost 200 percent, according data from Transport for London
(TfL), the body responsible for most public transport in the
The mayor is often photographed cycling around the city and
introduced a bike hire system in 2010.
The first two London cycle superhighways were launched in
July 2010, with 12 initially planned to be created by 2015.
Last month, a coroner ordered a safety review of the blue
lane system after conducting inquests into the deaths of two
cyclists killed while using it.
Mayor Johnson said one death was too many, but insisted
cycling in London was actually getting safer, with the number of
fatalities per million journeys falling.
"I just want to stress to all Londoners and people thinking
of cycling in our city, we are putting hundreds of millions of
pounds worth of investment into the road network. We are doing
our level best to make it as safe as we possibly can," he told
(Editing by Stephen Addison)