Mayor Boris Johnson has come under attack for comments which disregard the growing pressure for an immediate and independent review of the city’s cycling safety laws following the death of five cyclists in nine days.
Johnson stated cyclists needed to obey the laws of the road adding: “There’s no amount of traffic engineering that we invest in that is going to save people’s lives.”
The Mayor’s contradictory comments come just a week after he announced plans for the first fully segregated section of the Cycle Superhighway 2 between Bow and Stratford.
The press release for the plans said that the scheme was designed to be “almost entirely physically separated from traffic” in order to protect cyclists.
Politicians have called on the Mayor to review cycling safety in the capital. The Shadow infrastructure minister Andrew Adonis said on Twitter: “The Mayor should appoint a rapid independent review of superhighways after the horror of all these cyclists’ deaths in London.”
The Mayor’s cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, said on BBC London this Wednesday that although it is not the time to panic, changes have to made to the Superhighway 2.
Gilligan said: “From the beginning, Superhighway 2 [where two of the fatal cycling accidents recently occurred] has been little more than blue paint and I’ve been pressing to change it.”
The Mayor’s comments came the same day that Scotland Yard identified the latest cyclist killed at the notorious Bow Roundabout.
Venera Minakhmetova, 24, a Russian national living in the Bethnal Green area, was killed when she collided with a lorry at the Bow Roundabout on Wednesday morning.
The lorry was traveling west along the A11 and entered the roundabout to turn south towards the Blackwall Tunnel when it hit Minakhmetova, who was traveling west along the A11 on her bicycle.
Police and the London Ambulance Service were called but Minakhmetova was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fatality was the fourth death in eight days in the capital. Another cyclist was killed later on Wednesday in Tower Hamlets at the junction of Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road at approximately 11pm.
Minakhmetova had studied at the Cass Business School and recently set up a networking business app.