Following the death of a 20-year-old woman on London’s Cycle Superhighway 2 last Friday, London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has called a protest ride from Tower Hill to Aldgate this Friday at 6pm
The woman was yesterday named as Philippine de Gerin-Ricard after her family flew in from the South of France to formally identify her. A student who was doing work experience at Marks & Spencer, Ms de Gerin-Ricard was fatally struck by a lorry driver last Friday.
The objective of the protest, says the LCC, is to remind Mayor Boris Johnson and local councils that Londoners cycling on busy roads need dedicated space to protect them from fast-moving and heavy motor traffic.
Ms de Gerin-Ricard's was the third cyclist death to date on Cycle Superhighway 2, and the second in the London area in as many weeks. On June 24 a man was hit by the driver of a red Audi on the A20 in Lewisham. The driver, a 28-year-old man left the scene, but was later arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.
Svitlana Tereschenko and Brian Dorling were killed in separate incidents in 2011 at Bow roundabout on Cycle Superhighway 2. Both were hit by the drivers of tipper lorries.
London Cycling Campaign has been highlighting the poor design of Cycle Superhighway 2 - in reality little more than some blue paint along a very busy arterial route into London - since before it was built. Or painted.
Not safe or comfortable
“Since the first designs for Superhighway 2 were put forward, we've repeatedly told the Mayor that this route – supposedly put in place to encourage more Londoners to cycle – fails to come anywhere near providing a safe or comfortable cycle route,” says an LCC statement announcing Friday’s protest ride.
“In a letter to Transport for London dated February 2011 - before construction started - we said the project as planned should be halted, and funds should be spent improving flaws in the existing Cycle Superhighways and that Superhighway 2 should be redesigned a genuinely safe cycle route.
“As far back as 2009, we put forward a Superhighways manifesto calling for the Mayor to make these commuter routes safe and inviting for novice cyclists, as well as experienced commuters.
Fast-moving motor traffic
“Superhighway 2 follows the A11 trunk road, a busy multi-lane road used by high volumes of fast-moving motor traffic; however, despite being one of the Mayor's flagship commuter cycle routes, the section of Superhighway 2 from Aldgate to Bow roundabout provides no dedicated space for cycling.
“Cyclists of all abilities, including children, are expected to jockey for position among lorries, cars, motorbikes, buses and taxis, with only a smattering of ineffective blue paint and a few bike symbols to protect them.
“In stark contrast to this section of Superhighway 2, proposals from Transport for London for the CS2 route extension from Bow roundabout to Stratford provide for wide cycle tracks in both directions, with a raised kerb to protect cyclists from motor traffic and junction treatments to reduce conflict between cyclists and motorists.
“The wide tracks on Superhighway 2 from Bow to Stratford are to allow faster commuters to overtake slower cyclists comfortably.
“This plan to provide safe and dedicated space for cycling makes the complete absence of space for cycling between Aldgate and Bow very difficult to comprehend.”
- Meet 6pm for 6.15pm start at Tower Hill (where it meets Minories) http://goo.gl/maps/8Czme
- The protest ride will last approximately 20-30 minutes, including a brief stop at the junction of A11 Whitechapel Road and A1202 Commercial Street to pay respects at the place where last week's victim died
- The ride will be marshalled by LCC staff and volunteers and will finish at Altab Ali Park around 6.30pm
- Twitter hashtag #space4cycling
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.