London

'Coffin' protest outside TfL over cyclists' safety in London

Cyclists protest outside TfL Image copyright PA
Image caption Campaigners are calling for more investment in cycling infrastructure

Coffins were placed outside the Transport for London (TfL) office in a protest by cycling campaigners calling for more safety measures for cyclists.

Stop Killing Cyclists laid 21 cardboard "coffins" on Blackfriars Road to represent the riders killed in London since the group began in November 2013.

Organisers of the No More Coffins event want TfL to invest 10% of its budget on improving cycling infrastructure.

TfL said it was investing nearly £1bn on measures that would improve safety.

Eight cyclists have been killed in the capital this year, seven of them in incidents involving HGVs. The death toll in 2014 stood at 13.

The campaign group was set up after six cyclists were killed in the capital in one month, November 2013.

Image copyright PA
Image caption As part of Friday night's actions, dozens of campaigners also lay in the road with their bikes

Nicola Branch, co-organiser of the protest, said: "We want 10% of the TfL budget to be spent on cycling infrastructure. At the moment it is only 1.4% of their transport budget and that's nowhere near enough.

"As cyclists we are the canary in the coalmine, you sort out the problem of cycling deaths first and then all the other deaths fall into place."

As part of the protest scores of cyclists lay down with their bikes on the road in a "die-in" near the coffins. Several cyclists also spoke before the event, which is in its third year.

Among the protesters was Vicky Lebreck, 25, from London, who said she was trying to "get my life back together" after her leg was amputated after her pelvis was crushed by a lorry in a crash in December last year.

"I don't think it should be a possible outcome that a mistake made by a driver means people cycling on London's roads should be dying or having dramatic injuries."

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: "We are investing nearly £1 billion in upgrading the existing Cycle Superhighways with greater segregation, introducing major new segregated cycle routes and backstreet quiet routes, and overhauling dozens of junctions both on our roads and on borough roads, to give more protection to pedestrians and cyclists."

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