Queen Mary Students’ Union have been working with a number of local community organisations on the SaveME (Mile End) campaign, focusing on road safety in the the Mile End Road area. For road users in Tower Hamelts, this is a notorious stretch, with numerous accidents, some fatal, occurring outside of QMUL in the past few years. On Thursday 12 March at 7pm in Library Square the campaign held a demonstration in Library Square to reclaim the safety of Mile End road. This piece, written by one of the protesters, highlights the importance of the campaign and its impact.
One more death, one more reason for safer roads.
United through a common identity, citizens of UK, residents of Tower Hamlets and students from Queen Mary University marched in solidarity, protesting for safer roads in light of the recent traumatic deaths caused by reckless driving.
On Thursday 13th March 2015, the “SAVE ME” campaign was hosted at the Queen Mary Library Square where 400 people gathered together joined by the Inspector of Road Policing Rob, Harun Khan from TFL and Rabina Khan from Tower Hamlets Council.
Subsequently, they were presented with 3 asks: “Will you implement change in traffic lights? Will you improve speed control? And finally, will you improve the security of pedestrian crossings?” The responses of acceptance were cheered on with content by the crowd.
Soon after presenting the asks, active member of Telco and Citizens UK, Abdullah Tariq, offered his condolences to; the family of the deceased Primary School Teacher Ashad Ahmed, killed in a car accident 6 months ago on Commercial Road; and the family of the beloved Queen Mary University student Kieran Dhaliwal. Mr Dhaliwal, who was described as “the life and soul of everything” was fatally injured whilst walking past Queen Mary University of London in 2014.
Furthermore, the aforementioned incidents combined with many others were commemorated by the distribution of flowers at Mile End Road and then Commercial Road. My peers and I who study at Jamiatul Ummah Sixth Form were appointed as stewards on the day and were given the role of guiding and leading the protestors to the destinations, ensuring that they crossed the roads safely. We were also helped generously with the assistance of 2 Police officers.
To round off the proceedings, Deputy Mayor Oliur Rahman made an appearance at Commercial Road to show support for the “SAVE ME” campaign and expressed his full commitment to our cause.
Certainly, this was a day to remember for my peers and I as we experienced many people from distinctive cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, coming together for a common, altruistic cause: to ensure road safety for others.