Published: 29th April, 2011
by PETER GRUNER
A ROW is brewing in Islington over proposals for a new law creating offences of causing death or serious injury through dangerous or reckless cycling.
Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom has had a first reading of her bill in the Commons, triggered by a pedestrian’s death caused by a cyclist in her South Northamptonshire constituency.
But cyclists in Islington argue that figures show they are much more likely to be killed on the roads, particularly by heavy lorries. Those in favour of a new law point out, however, that walkers on the canal towpath in Islington are under threat of injury from fast commuter cyclists.
Alison Dines, of Islington Cycle Action Group, said: “Everyone on our streets should obey the law but we feel drivers are proportionally less likely to be stopped when not doing so.”
Chairman of Islington Conservatives, Richard Bunting, said he could understand the concerns of walkers. “I have two small children and I know what it is like having cyclists bearing down on you. The majority are good but there is always the anti-social lot. They can be a menace, particularly on a towpath.”
Ozoda Muminova, from Islington Green Party, said road safety would improve if more was spent on traffic planning and educating motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Green contender for London Mayor, Jenny Jones, will speak at an Islington Cycling Action Group meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 11, at the town hall.