Safety protest planned as Queen’s doctor named as fourth cyclist killed at blackspot in five years
Dr Peter Fisher, an expert in homeopathy, died at the scene in Holborn
16 August, 2018 — By William McLennan
Dr Fisher publicly debated the efficacy of homeopathy
The Queen’s doctor was killed in a collision while cycling through Holborn yesterday.
Dr Peter Fisher, 67, a world leading expert in homeopathy and integrated medicine, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision with a lorry in High Holborn.
His death was the fourth cycling fatality within five years in the area – described by campaigners as a “small tangle of one-way streets” – and led to plans to shutdown roads on Monday in a protest against the “unacceptably slow” pace of road safety improvements.
Dr Fisher holds the prestigious title of Physician to Her Majesty The Queen and is director of research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, part of the University College London Hospital NHS Trust, in Great Ormond Street.
He regularly appeared at conferences and in the media, debating the efficacy of homeopathy with popular science figures including Richard Dawkins and Ben Goldacre.
Alan Neve, 54, died in a collision less than 200 metres away in 2013, sparking a similar protest, organised by the London Cycling Campaign, that saw hundreds take to the streets.
The group said yesterday: “Today we are mourning another cyclist, in another collision with a large vehicle, at another notorious set of junctions, in London. This is the fourth cycling fatality in this small tangle of one-way streets and junctions in five years.”
It said action to improve the junction had been “delayed or obstructed,” adding: “This is not good enough. In a city which our Mayor has promised will become a ‘byword for cycling’, the progress on delivering safe space for cycling has been unacceptably slow.”
It said that “protected cycling tracks” were needed, as well as a complete overhaul of dangerous junctions like High Holborn.
Federica Baldassa, a 26-year-old who had just landed her dream job in the fashion industry, was killed by a delivery lorry as she cycled along nearby Vernon Place in 2015.
Francis Golding, 69, a leading architectural consultants, was died after being hit by coach in Southampton Road in 2013.
The deaths of Mr Neve and Mr Golding led to demands for rapid safety improvements.
John Chamberlain, of Camden Cycling Campaign, said: “We are very upset and desperately sad at another fatality. That whole area has a terrible record of cycle fatalities. It is is just awful for cyclists. It’s something that Camden and TFl have looked at a number of times over the years, but nothing has been progressed.
Fran Graham of London Cycling Campaign said: “We know how to build it, we just need our politicians to get on and do it. Join the protest on Monday and tell the Mayor he needs to pick up the pace.”
Dr Gill Gaskin, UCLH medical director, said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened to learn that Dr Peter Fisher tragically died in a road traffic accident yesterday.
“Peter was director of research at UCLH’s Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM), and physician to Her Majesty The Queen.
“Peter was a highly regarded colleague and friend of many at the RLHIM, where he worked for more than 35 years.
“He was an international figure in homeopathy who was committed to holistic and compassionate care for his patients.
“He will be greatly missed by his colleagues and patients alike.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to Peter’s family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
The council’s former transport chief Phil Jones said in July 2013: “We support the cycling revolution. We have a three-year transport plan and the next major scheme is going to be Holborn. We want to remove the gyratory, but that requires a lot of work.”
Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TfL, said: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the cyclist who sadly died after a collision with a HGV this morning. We will assist the police as they investigate the circumstances. Any death on London’s roads is one too many. That’s why we are committed to a Vision Zero approach to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads.”