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Hundreds of cyclists gather for Battersea Bridge protest after woman killed by lorry

More than 300 cyclists gathered for a protest ride on Battersea Bridge over road safety after a woman was killed by a lorry there a month ago.

The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) called the protest ride last night after the 27-year-old woman was killed while cycling across the bridge on August 10.

The Met said yesterday that the lorry driver has not been charged and investigations are ongoing.

The campaign group said the protest was to highlight the ongoing toll on lives from years of inaction on cycling safety by Transport for London (TfL) and Kensington and Chelsea and Wandsworth councils.

Campaigners want greater safety for cyclists on the bridge (Picture: LCC)

Simon Munk, head of campaigns at LCC, said: “Last night, hundreds of people cycled over Battersea Bridge to mark a month since a 27-year-old woman was killed cycling here.

“In that month, TfL and Kensington and Chelsea and Wandsworth councils have done nothing to make this notoriously dangerous bridge safer for cycling, despite one person a year on average being seriously injured or killed cycling on the bridge or at the junctions at each end, and despite having delayed plans here for years already.

“Last night was a community pouring out its grief, anger and frustration that to these councils particularly, the lives of people cycling seem to matter little.

“We’ve had enough of vague promises followed by calls to delay or weaken schemes. We want action now to make the area safer.”

At least 13 people have been killed or seriously injured cycling on the bridge and its approaches since 2012.

TfL is responsible for any changes to the bridge and the road.

A TfL safety scheme to improve the junctions at both ends of the bridge has been delayed, but has been criticised by the cycling group, which says it would have done nothing on the bridge to save the woman most recently killed.

LCC believes the proposed scheme has no improvements for the bridge, despite it featuring lane widths that TfL suggests are a “critical issue” for cycling, high kerbs and balustrades, and high volumes of motor traffic.

A TfL spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman who was tragically killed after a collision with an HGV while cycling on Battersea Bridge on August 10. We continue to work with the police on their investigation.

“We are improving safety at the northern and southern ends of the bridge. While it is not possible to provide cycle lanes on Battersea Bridge due to its width, we are engaging closely with the local community, including local MPs, councillors and Wandsworth council, to consider all concerns raised and any proposals for making local roads safer.”

LCC also accused Kensington and Chelsea councillors of watering down certain safety elements of the scheme.

Kensington and Chelsea councillor Cem Kemahli said: “We were saddened by the death of a woman cycling on Battersea Bridge last month and our thoughts are with her family.

“This busy junction north of Battersea Bridge has more road casualties than anywhere else in our borough.

“Along with the bridge itself, it is managed by TfL and we are working closely with our colleagues at TfL to encourage them to put in place schemes to reduce collisions.

“Transport for London has confirmed its plans to make changes to this junction to improve the safety of people walking and cycling there.”

Wandsworth council has been contacted for comment.

Pictured top: Cycle protesters cross Battersea Bridge (Picture: LCC)

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