CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

There are new calls for a rapid improvement in road safety following the death of cyclist Ardian Zagani

07 September, 2017

Demonstrators demand action to end deaths of pedestrians and cyclists

• MORE than 80 people gathered on Monday evening by Hilldrop Crescent, N7, where a young man, Ardian Zagani, who’d worked in north London for 15 years, was killed while cycling on Camden Road on August 29 (Mayor told to act on road safety at vigil to talented athlete killed cycling to work, August September 7).

This was not, as widely billed, some left of field “radical cycling group” but friends of the victim, a pedestrian survivor of a near fatal bus collision plus senior Unite union officials representing bus drivers who are fighting the private operators for all round better safety conditions.

Others included an expert traffic engineer, the two London Green Assembly Members and an anaesthetist doctor familiar with treating road casualties. Many local residents including parents and pensioners also attended.

Notably absent were officials and members of Camden and Islington councils, or any representation from Transport for London whose road it is. Had they been there they might have been interested to learn from the speeches given that each road death costs around £1.8 million.

Currently, there are plans being floated to ditch speed cameras altogether, even though around 90 pedestrians and 15 cyclists are killed each year on London roads alone. Higher speeds mean more deaths.

That there are around 9,500 premature deaths each year from illegal air pollution, much of it due to vehicle emissions and tyre and brake particulates; plus 70 per cent of London children don’t get the amount of exercise required for healthy development leading to a whole range of devastating inactivity diseases.

Far from being a “radical” group, the common aim is to rapidly and immediately improve road safety for all citizens across London through scaled up public transportation, connected and protected cycle lanes, a reduction in car traffic and better design of roads and junctions.

There has already been a three-and-a-half year wait for the plans that exist for Camden Road to be implemented. Will the councils of Camden and Islington now step up and meet TfL to get this actioned before starting on the rest of what needs to be done?

JULIETTA COCHRANE, NW5

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