Kings Cross blog seeks corporate manslaughter charge over cycle and pedestrian safety

Cycling campaigners are already exerting pressure on Boris Johnson and Transport for London to alter their plans for Blackfriars junction to make it more cyclist and pedestrian-friendly.  Now a separate challenge to TfL’s approach to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in the capital will take the form of a corporate manslaughter charge, if one of the authors of the Kings Cross Environment blog has his way.

In a powerful piece posted on Friday following the death earlier this month of 24 year-old cyclist Min Joo Lee at the junction of Pentonville Road and York Way, William Perrin drew fresh attention to a report compiled for TfL in 2008 on the street environment in the area around Kings Cross and St Pancras stations, which concluded that road-crossing provision was “inadequate” and that there were “widespread deficiencies with regards to the pedestrian environment in this area.”

The report made specific mention of the Pentonville Road-York Way junction, where Euston Road and Grays Inn Road also converge. It noted “just how aggressive vehicles are at this point” and described casualties as “inevitable” and rush hour periods as “a battle ground”. The report was never published by TfL, and Perrin obtained it only after making a Freedom of Information request.

William Perrin’s case is that TfL’s bureaucracy has failed to give cyclist and pedestrian safety sufficient priority at a confluence of heavy traffic-bearing streets for which it is responsible. He put it this way on Friday:

There seems to me to be negligence here in not taking timely substantive action upon a crystal clear report TfL had itself commissioned.

In an update on Sunday Perrin explained that he had written to the coroner who will preside at the hearing into Min Joo Lee’s death, enclosing a copy of the report and asking him “to consider raising the issue of corporate manslaughter with the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service].” Today he has posted a copy of the letter he’s written to the senior Met traffic management officer examining the death. He sent a copy of the report to the officer too.

Via: Guardian Bike Blog


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