Firstly, I would like to thank everybody involved in organising and spreading the word about the Candlelit Vigil at Bow Roundabout, I saw a lot of planning and organisation at very short notice, and with care and sensitivity.
Secondly, thanks everyone who attended, and those who spoke, and pledged their support in whatever way, in making sure this never happens again. In my mind, it was a very moving and necessary thing to do.
Even cycling down CS2 from Mile End, I was hating CS2 already, long before Bow Roundabout. I was not alone in saying this as we weaved in and out of traffic, around parked cars and buses. I would sooner this blue farce not be there.
I struggle to see what improvement this has actually made to anything.
Increasingly this shows TfL and the Mayor's "That'll do" mentality, where cyclists and pedestrians are treated as the lowest of the low:
"Let's slap some blue paint down... That'll do..."
"Let's stick a few signs up... That'll do..."
"The cheapest, easiest option... That'll do..."
With easily 200 people turning up on Friday evening, the message is loud and clear.
"Actually Boris and TfL: No, that won't f***ing do!"
It won't do.
It won't do for London, or any civilised city.
It won't do for the Olympics.
It won't do for local residents.
It won't do for getting people out of their cars.
It won't do for safer streets and pleasant urban spaces.
It won't do for our children and families we are trying to encourage to cycle.
It certainly won't do for the families who have lost loved ones.
May the Wheelers first Vigil also be the last.
Both of the victims' families were there, and at what is obviously an incredibly difficult time for them, had the courage to speak out. Most of us had no words we could say to them. I hope that our very presence said it all. That we ARE here, and we DO care.
I never want to stand by the side of the road again, listening to a grieving family describing how nothing could have prepared them for seeing the body of their loved one with horrific injuries.
Bluntly, these victims don't die peacefully in their sleep. Ending up under the wheels of a lorry and getting dragged under it is an absolutely horrific way to die, and absolutely avoidable.
We don't want to ever have to do this again, but if we have to do it again, we will do it again, and again, if that's what it takes to reverse the "That'll do" mentality - which could possibly be also described as negligent in the extreme, given that they have ignored all advice and warnings from LCC and others from the outset.
Thank you all again.
Tower Hamlets Wheelers