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‘Die-in’ demo for cyclist doctor

Safety plea after death of 41-year-old who worked on the pandemic frontline

27 August, 2021 — By Tom Foot

Cyclists protest at the junction where Dr Krawiec died on August 4 after a collision with a lorry

A PAEDIATRIC doctor who was killed while riding her bike through a danger junction had been “over the moon” to be reunited with her child patients again after returning to her clinic from the pandemic frontline.

Dr Marta Krawiec, who lived in Tufnell Park, worked in a specialist allergy clinic at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in Southwark. The 41-year-old was killed in a collision with a lorry at the junction of Theobald’s Road and Southampton Row on August 4.

She became the seventh cyclist to die on a small stretch of roads around Holborn that campaigners say should have been made safe years ago.

A “die-in” protest was held at the junction on Friday night.

Emma Raha, a friend and Stop Killing Cyclists campaigner, had taken her son dozens of times to see Dr Krawiec for help with a potentially fatal peanut allergy.

Dr Marta Krawiec

She told the Tribune: “We did have a rapport and I think the most personal conversation was in March 2020 when she told me she was being deployed, with all her colleagues, to the Covid response. She was very honest with me about her nervousness, about the PPE training, and her vulnerability. We were both delighted and over the moon to see each other again. For her to survive all of that and get back to her patients, that was really special for her.”

Ms Raha, who works in NHS management, spoke about how Dr Krawiec had worked with her son for over a year-and-a-half, slowly building him up until he could stomach the equivalent of around 15 peanuts a day.

“It was a real success story,” she said.

Standing alongside her partner Alex Raha at the protest on Friday night, Ms Raha spoke about how the UK’s cycling infrastructure investment is significantly behind other European countries.

Another friend, Angelique Richardson, told how Dr Krawiec had only begun cycling last year due to “her concerns over the climate emergency”.

Around 100 cyclists lay down in the road at Holborn on Friday, blocking traffic in the rush hour at 6.30pm in a protest facilitated by the Met police.

It was the third event of its kind in the Holborn “gyratory”. Despite a series of promises that the junction would be ripped up and made safe, a funded scheme has not yet begun there.

Donachadh McCarthy, founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, told the protest on Friday: “Why do we not have clean air? Why do we not have clean streets? It is a terrible shock that a civilised society cannot protect our children’s future. What are we doing?”

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has launched a petition to demand rapid action at dangerous junctions, where the majority of fatalities happen.

Simon Munk, campaigns chief at the LCC, read out the names of cyclists who have died in the Holborn gyratory.

He said: “The mayor said they are going to rush in changes. This is welcome, but it is not enough. Over and over again we see councils not delivering changes.”

Camden Council and Transport for London (TfL) say they are working to bring in changes to the area that were promised back in 2019.

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