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Boris Johnson backs road safety campaign in memory of Ali Nasralla
Boris Johnson has promised to review safety in the road where schoolboy Ali Nasralla was fatally hit, bringing hope for our Stop Look and Listen To Us campaign.
The news has been welcomed by the family of the eight-year-old, who thanked the Surrey Comet for ramping up the pressure on Transport for London to take action in memory of Ali.
Our reporter handed a letter to the London Mayor from Ali’s father, urging him to reduce speed and introduce speed bumps in Robin Hood Way.
The impassioned plea in memory of Ali, who was sadly knocked down and killed by a black cab while he was riding his bike on March 6, appears to have spurred the Mayor into action.
Talking on an election walkabout in Surbiton, the Mayor, who is bidding to win a second term at elections on May 5, pledged to fight for funding to bring in the safety measures.
He said: “Thank you very much for giving me this letter. I am of course aware of this tragic incident and what happened.
“I will certainly look into it; we will get our transport engineers to look into what we can do to improve safety. We have a big programme of road safety in London now.
"And we will fight for the funding to make this possible."
Ali’s father Murtadha Nasralla has called on the Mayor to keep his promise.
He said: “I have just arrived home from Saudi Arabia and I am happy to hear about the Surrey Comet’s meeting with Mayor Boris Johnson.
“I wished I could have been there with you. I will support this campaign all the way and many thanks for your efforts.
“I am of course encouraged by the Mayor’s response. I pray that he will implement what he promised.”
Earlier this month we revealed how Kingston Council could cut speed on residential roads in the borough following the tragedy.
Council leader Derek Osbourne said the council would recommend 20mph limits in all residential council-run roads, although neighbourhood committees would have the final say.
Open letter to Mr Johnson
Dear Boris Johnson,
I lost my only son while he was riding on his bike on the road where he lived on March 6 last month.
The pain that tragedy has left in our lives cannot be comprehended by anyone except those that know how it feels to bury a child.
We are a family heartbroken knowing that we will never see our happy smiling son again.
In my view this tragedy could have been avoided if proper road safety measures had been introduced.
Reducing the speed limit on this road and introducing speed humps will not bring my son back, I will never read him a bedtime story or kick a ball with him, I will never see him smile again.
But if by making these changes we can save another family from this tragedy then some light, something positive in memory of my son, can emerge from this darkness.
There has been lots of evidence that concludes 20 mph zones cut road safety accidents, particularly among children.
Your own London Assembly produced a report that put forward recommendations in 2009 to bring the speed down, yet nothing has been done.
It has been a month since my son died on a road controlled by Transport for London, of which you are the boss, yet despite a campaign from the local newspaper, no one has responded to our pleas to have the speed reduced.
I ask you, Mr Johnson, to look at this campaign and make a promise to me as a man and as a father, that you will be personally involved in any decision made.
I will never do the things that most fathers take for granted but in honour of my son’s memory I must urge you to act now and stop another family from experiencing this grief.