Published: 28 April 2011
by JOSIE HINTON
KEN Livingstone has called on Mayor of London Boris Johnson to do more for cyclists in the wake of the death of a woman at a Camden Town blackspot.
The former Mayor, who wants to wrest his old job back from Mr Johnson, said cycle safety schemes had been cancelled by his rival.
The two men will contest London elections next year.
A shrine and a “ghost bike” mark the spot in Camden Road where Paula Jurek was crushed by a truck earlier this month.
The 20-year-old student died at the scene, leading to calls for greater safety. Since Ms Jurek’s death there have been at least three other road accidents nearby.
Mr Livingstone told the New Journal: “Large vehicles turning left have become the major cause of collisions involving cyclists and clearly it is something on which the Mayor needs to focus.
“I am concerned that the Mayor has cut a huge amount of funding for cycling in London and cancelled many of the cycle schemes and projects soon after he was elected.”
Mr Johnson is famous for riding a bike to and from engagements and is credited with pushing through the cycle rental scheme in the capital, soon to be expanded to Camden Town.
“I believe it is time for the Mayor to make cycle safety a real priority and to do much more work with London’s boroughs, like Camden, to cut the number of road accidents,” said Mr Livingstone.
He also called for mandatory cycle awareness training for HGV lorry drivers – and said voluntary cycle training schemes must remain free from government cuts.
Mr Livingstone pointed out that fatalities have decreased over the past decade as the number of cyclists on the roads has dramatically increased. But he added that action should still be taken to make roads safer.
“In a perfect world, we would have hundreds of miles of segregated cycle routes, but we have to face the reality that this is very difficult on many of London’s roads,” he said.
“But we can also be more ingenious, with well-signposted cycle routes through quieter back streets. I am very keen to hear ideas and suggestions from Londoners about how we can make roads safer for cyclists.”