Hackney cyclists to hold protest ride following two fatal collisions

Kenworthy Road. Photograph: Olivia Barber

Campaigners are holding a protest ride following the recent deaths of two cyclists on Hackney roads.

Hackney Cycling Campaign is calling for safety improvements after the fatal accidents on Kenworthy and Whiston roads in September.

Cyclists will visit both roads before heading to Hackney Town Hall to discuss their concerns.

A 27-year-old man died in hospital two days after a collision with a car on Kenworthy on Sunday 10 September.

The car went on to collide with another vehicle. The 24-year-old driver was arrested, and she has been bailed until December.

Eleven days later, a 36-year-old mother-of-two died after a collision with a car on Whiston Road in the early evening of Thursday 21 September.

Witnesses told police that two men left the scene before emergency services had arrived.

The protest ride on Wednesday 18 October will slow to a walking pace when it reaches Whiston, so residents can walk with cyclists to the Town Hall.

Hackney Cycling Campaign has drawn up a number of ideas that it believes would improve safety on the two roads.

It is calling for a bus gate at the junction of Queensbridge Road and Whiston Road. This would prevent motor vehicles, apart from buses, entering Whiston Road at the junction.

Campaigners also suggested only allowing left turns onto Whiston in an effort to stop through-traffic.

Campaigners said: “It is our responsibility to scrutinise the council so that we all ensure that we never see another road user fatality on Whiston Road.”

They are keen to hear what solutions the council proposes.

In 2020, Hackney Council worked with Tower Hamlets Council to create a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) near Whiston Road, but the plan stalled.

Tower Hamlets is now scrapping LTNs.

Residents on Kenworthy Road have been raising concerns about safety there.

Campaigners said if the road is not wide enough for a protected bike lane, they would like to see a toucan crossing, where cyclists and pedestrians can cross together.

Rickardo Hyatt, Hackney Council’s director for climate, homes, and the economy, said: “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.

“Casualties on our roads are neither acceptable nor inevitable.”

He said vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, are a top priority.

“We prioritise their needs in any changes to our roads, and Hackney Council has made a commitment to the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero which seeks to eliminate road deaths by 2041.”

He added: “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.”

Next week’s protest ride starts on Mabley Street in Clapton Park at 5.30pm. It will arrive at Whiston Road at 6.15pm and at Hackney Town Hall at 6.30pm.