Tonight, London Bike Swarm will be riding through Central London in a peaceful protest against the exclusion of cyclists from the Olympics Route Network 'Games Lanes' and the closing of safe cycle routes such as the Lea Towpath. This isn't an anti-sport protest, but instead to draw attention to the short-sighted and dangerous banning of cyclists from Games Lanes by Olympics organisers while corporate sponsors, as part of the 'Olympic Family', can use them simply by paying enough money. This is an issue of corporate money over the safety of cyclists and it's time for the Olympics organisers to prove that this is 'the greenest Olympics ever' and not just pay lip-service to this issue.We have, over the last few weeks, attempted to engage with London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), Transport for London (TfL) and Get Ahead of the Games (GAotG) but other than a cursory and ludicrous "Cyclists aren't allowed in the lanes but most lanes aren't near the pavement anyway" we've not been given any meaningful information or reasoning for this ban. The latest emails from GAotG repeatedly mention motor vehicles but don't contain useful information for cyclists.LOCOG, TfL and GAotG could have sent a powerful message of support for environmentally-friendly transport such as cycling, but yet again it seems that they've fallen at the first hurdle.We do not wish to hold up athletes and officials on their way to events, but we ask LOCOG, TfL and GAotG to publicly state that cyclists can use these lanes. We also ask non-participatory members of the 'Olympics Family', such as corporate sponsors and 'VIPs', to not use these lanes. Or, even better, get a bicycle and ride with us!Ride strong, ride on!
On Monday 28 May two cars collided on Hammersmith Bridge as one tried to overtake a young female cyclist who was out riding with her parents leading to her being pinned to one of the bridge supports by a car that had tried to overtake her.
The London Cycling Campaign and local campaigners have been calling on all central London bridges to be made safer for cycling, with 20mph speed limits a top priority.
LDN Bike Swarm went to support local campaigners' 'calm the bridge' protest bike ride on Saturday 2 June 2012
During the Critical Mass bike ride in London on the 25th May, it is understood that a rider was driven into by a taxi driver. This created a situation which was escalated by heavy-handed and aggressive police officers. Apparently making an arrest, officers dragged a rider around a corner and a mounted police officer positioned himself between the mass and the rider who had been pushed to the floor.
We started filming from the pedestrian island in the middle of Charing Cross Road and witnessed a mounted police officer striking a person from behind with an extendable baton.
Saturday 12 May, police from virtually every borough in London - in addition to members of the Territorial Support Group - violently removed supporters of Occupy London who were simply sitting on the steps of the Royal Exchange. The arrests came after a day of "Meet the 1%" activities around the city timed to coincide with an international day of action marked in over 380 cities worldwide.