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‘Die-in’ at town hall in tribute to cyclist who was hit in Pentonville Road

Protest to expose ‘woeful record’ on protected lanes

27 October, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Cyclist Jerome Roussel died in hospital seven weeks after being hit by a lorry in Pentonville Road in May

A PROTEST against Islington Council’s “woeful record” on cycling safety will come to the town hall next month.

The “die-in”, where safety campaigners lie in the middle of the road, is being staged in memory of Jerome Roussel.

It emerged last week that Mr Roussel had died in hospital seven weeks after being hit by a lorry in Pentonville Road in May. The 51-year-old City trader, who lived in Notting Hill with his wife and children, was a keen cyclist, riding about 300 miles a month.

Campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists said the November 8 protest was being organised to “expose Islington Council’s woeful record on installing protected cycling infrastructure, with hardly a metre of protected cycle lanes installed since 2010 and insistence on building inadequate Quietways clogged up with parking and rat-runs.”

Stop Killing Cyclists co-founder Donnachadh McCarthy said: “Islington desperately needs a protected cycling network to allow its children, adults and pensioners to be able to cycle in the borough without fear of death.

“Their failure to build any decent infrastructure since 2010 is a disgrace. Genuinely safer Quietways would have congested parking removed and rat-runs closed.”

He welcomed the London Mayor’s five-year plan for safer lorries, but called on Sadiq Khan to ensure all lorries have CCTV.

John Ackers, of Cycle Islington, said the council was investing in a significant segregated cycle scheme from Old Street to Clerkenwell Road.

“If this could be achieved then they would have something to show for the last four years, but right now things look pretty dismal,” he added.

Cycle Islington argues that Islington’s Quietways, where cyclists are filtered down quieter roads, are not safe enough to encourage less experienced cyclists.

“There is still too much traffic. You either need segregation or to filter motor traffic, but Islington refuse to filter traffic,” said Mr Ackers.

Council transport chief Councillor Claudia Webbe said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Jerome Roussel.

“We are challenging the Mayor of London to tackle the safety concerns on Transport for London roads such as Pentonville Road, where the council does not have the authority to make changes.

“Next month, work begins on construction of the last section of the North-South Cycle Super­­highway, which includes segregated cycling on Farringdon Road up to Farringdon Station.”

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