The first two cyclist deaths on London's roads in 2018 were both on the A206 between the Greenwich Naval College and the Blackwall Tunnel roundabout: that deadly route to Woolwich. According to the report in the Evening Standard, both were males, 46 and 37, and both were killed by lorries, on May 9 and May 18 respectively.
Cyclists' groups have campaigned for cycle lanes to be built here, but the authority - Greenwich - has failed to take action.
Then, last Sunday, June 3 - ironically, World Bicycle Day - a male cyclist in his fifties died in a shocking and puzzling incident at the junction of Childers Street and Rolt Street, SE8. This was a hit-and-run incident, at a junction where here traffic-calming measures and a new supposedly cyclist-friendly route had only recently opened.
The case is under police investigation. A 37-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving, then was released.
By Thursday, one of the white Ghost Bikes had been chained to the signpost at the scene of this death. I know this corner well, often cycling to this exact point, to visit the Acme studios in the former Propeller Factory on Childers Street. It's only in the last few months that many of the streets and pavements around here have been re-paved and traffic calming measures introduced.
It seems the bike became trapped under the car, which was then driven up Childers Street to the next junction. Unable to dislodge the bike, the driver was then seen to run off on foot, abandoning the car. You can see the scratches gouged into the recently-resurfaced road by the trapped bike. It is a chilling sight, when you realise that at the time these scratches were made the rider was dying on the street, despite efforts to help him from several passers-by.
Rolt Street is part of a well-known rat-run for drivers trying to beat the traffic in the Surrey Quays - Deptford - New Cross triangle. Locals say the new one-way system is often ignored by motorists, and that the council has often been told this: even after the death, cars and vans were shooting through that narrow one-way lane in the wrong direction.
There's no point in going on. Except to say - unfortunately - that no London cyclist will be surprised by this horrific event. The levels of car/van/lorry driver aggression have been increasing: anger seems to be in the foul air we all have to breathe. Cars screech to a halt at junctions, their nasty bumpers two or three feet out into the cycle lane - they can't wait for the cyclists to pass, they bristle.
Each one of these deaths, like any other unnatural, unnecessary killing, creates terrible ripples of grief which extend far beyond family.
We're in a city suffering creeping death by vehicle pollution. Air pollution, visual pollution, stress pollution, noise pollution. The power-brokers are trying to keep the motorists happy, even when they know it is essential to discourage private drivers, and to shift the balance towards more sustainable public transport.
Each cyclist killed on London streets is a victim of political decisions and business decisions. Such as the decision to allow hundreds of ready-mix cement and tipper trucks on to the narrow streets of central London, as they rush to feed the greedy construction sites of the City, Nine Elms, Blackfriars, Elephant and Castle, Old Street, Waterloo, Chelsea Barracks etc etc etc...Yes, just to build more unaffordable luxury apartments in tower blocks which add more visual pollution to the skyline. And whose occupants - if they ever move in - will probably soon be blasting down your street in their obese Maseratis and Range Rovers.
For many years, the groups who fight for safer streets for all have marked each cycle death with a white bike - a ghostly reminder to all passing traffic of a horrific event.
Lucia Ciccioli was killed at 7.54am on October 24, 2016, by a massive truck, which appeared to be delivering plaster-board to building sites.
Maybe this memorial has been removed at the request of the family of the victim. But if not - why has it gone? To make life easier for somebody? If that's the case, I'd say it was a dismal move.
I wish these Ghost Bikes would remain in situ for ever: concrete them in, reinforce them; make sure they get in people's way, make sure they cause drivers' heads to turn and consciences to start pricking them.
Maybe in 100 years people would look at them in disbelief that such fragile, elegant machines could have been so much at the mercy of speeding lumps of metal, oil and plastic, filling the air with their toxic stench and their hideous blaring horns and roaring engines. And so often carrying just one or a couple of people, unnecessarily, very slowly, to schools or shops.