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.
“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.
“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.”
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.