100 Years Of The Car: 100 Years Of Carnage

This article was published in 1996, in Newsletter 7.

RoadPeace, as mentioned in Newsletter No. 3, are organising a march in south London on Saturday 17 August: this is the best opportunity in 100 years to protest about road death and injury. This was the day, in 1896, when the first person, Bridget Driscoll, was killed by a car in Britain.


They plan to retrace her steps with a procession from Gypsy Hill to the spot where she died (now in Crystal Palace Park) and expect a lot of interest from the media. They are being supported by Friends of the Earth and cycling and pedestrian groups, but bereaved and injured RoadPeace members will be leading the procession. Our Cycling Campaign members would certainly be welcome.

At least half a million people have been killed and 30 million injured on British roads in the past 100 years and they hope to raise awareness of the devastation caused by irresponsible road use.

Participants must please wear black and bring photos of loved ones who have died, if applicable.

Meet by 1.45pm on Saturday 17 August at Gypsy Hill Rail Station in south London. It is a 21-minute journey from Victoria Station (destination W Croydon or Beckenham J) or from London Bridge Station (destination E Croydon) and there are three trains every hour. It is advisable to allow plenty of travel time and please check in advance that there are no engineering works (0171 928 5100).

The walk will only be about half an hour long, but there will be stops on the way, finishing up in Crystal Palace Park at about 3pm for a wreath-laying ceremony at the spot where the first death occurred. There will be a choir and one or two speeches from invited dignitaries, ending at about 4pm.

If you would like more information, you can phone the RoadPeace office on 0181 964 1021, or come along to the next Cycling Campaign meeting in August when we’ll discuss arrangements.