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Hackney cyclists to protest following two deaths in borough in recent weeks

Campaigners say safety improvements first urged seven years ago have not happened

Cyclists in the London Borough of Hackney are to hold a protest calling for safer streets after two people were killed while riding their bikes there in the past six weeks, and say that repeated calls for safety improvements to be made have been ignored.

The Hackney Gazette reports that local residents first urged the local council seven years ago to make Whiston Road, where a 36-year-old woman was killed on 21 September, safer for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

A 29-year-old man, Martin Reilly, of Lower Clapton, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and interfering with a vehicle and is due to appear in court later this month.

The fatal crash happened less than a fortnight after another cyclist, a 27-year-old man, lost his life in the borough after he was struck by a driver on 10 September on Kenworthy Road in Homerton.

According to Garmon ap Garth, co-ordinator of Hackney Cycling Campaign, which is affiliated to London Cycling Campaign, a group representing people living on or near Whiston Road met with TfL to demand safety improvements.

While some were put in place, such as early start traffic lights, residents remain frustrated that further action, such as the implementation of a planned low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) was not taken.

Hackney Cycling Campaign is now urging the council to put a traffic filter or bus gate in place on Whiston Road, and for raised pedestrian crossings to be put in place on Kenworthy Road to slow down drivers.

A protest ride, which will stop at the locations of both fatal crashes, will take place next Monday 16 October, starting at 5.30pm on Mabley Street.

The council said that it was unable to take any action until the Metropolitan Police have concluded their investigations into both crashes with Rickardo Hyatt, the council’s group director for climate, homes and economy, saying: “We are deeply saddened by news of the tragic deaths of cyclists on Whiston Road and Kenworthy Road, and our thoughts are with their friends and families.

“We are aware of the suggestions from Hackney Cycling Campaign but are unable to comment on any potential changes before the current police investigation is concluded,” he added.

A spokesperson for Transport for London (TfL) said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man and woman who were tragically killed in collisions last month while cycling in Hackney.

“We are engaging closely with the local community to consider their concerns and continue to look at what changes can be made to make these roads safer.”

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Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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