A new campaign group is planning to block the Kings Cross Gyratory at rush hour this evening as part of the continuing protests against TfL’s management of the road system in that area and elsewhere in London.
BikesAlive have called the action in a blog post entitled Enough is Enough, where they state that: “Polite meeting and symbolic action are having no effect. We need to act. The time has surely come for cyclists to (nonviolently) defend ourselves”. The group states this will be the first of a weekly protest action until TfL takes action to make its junctions safe for all users.
Within the cycle campaigning movement, boosted in numbers by the events of 2011, there has always been some disagreement about tactics like road blocks as a common tool of protest. However, as the protest from the London Assembly over Blackfriars showed, TfL continues to operate without democratic oversight and thus it is very hard, without direct Mayoral intervention (as Chair of TfL), to have any impact on their decision making process.
Green AM Jenny Jones is due to attend. She said, “London’s roads must be fixed urgently if we are to make them safe for cyclists and all other road users. This is the Mayor’s responsibility, and I hope that if we make a statement through peaceful, direct action he will start to listen.” The protest also has the backing of disability access group Transport for All, but has not had an official nod from the London Cycling Campaign.
It’s also fair to say that the deadly Kings Cross Junction in question is badly flawed, was known to TfL to be a safety risk and that their plans to change it before the Olympics will not solve the problem of two lanes merging into one, through a high speed junction, with no space for cycling.
No progress has yet been reported on calls to charge TfL with corporate manslaughter over the death of ‘Deep’ Lee, whose tragic death last year launched Kings Cross’s knotted gyratory to the top of the cycling agenda.
If you are heading to or though the Kings Cross area tonight, and not on your bike, you may wish to avail yourself of the Tube rather than taking the bus.