Campaigners call for better cycle lanes after French student killed on Boris Bike near Aldgate
13:18 16 July 2013
A protest ride was staged along the “suicidal” junction where a French student on a Boris Bike
Campaigners from the London Cycling Campaign and their local branch, Tower Hamlets Wheelers, took to their bikes last Friday, exactly a week after the death of Philippine De Gerin-Ricard, to call for clearer segregated cycle lanes.
The 20-year-old, who lived in Bromley High Street, Bromley-by-Bow, died from multiple injures at the notorious Gardiner’s Corner gyratory system, near Aldgate East Tube station.
She was travelling on a hired Boris Bike, along the Cycle Superhighway 2, when she was in a collision with a lorry. Police are investigating the incident and no arrests have been made.
Her mother, Anna Boudet du Mochet, told the BBC: “The fact there were road works meant that it was suicidal and I what I don’t understand is how they can but vehicles and bicycles so close together at this spot. It is ridiculous.”
The need to separate vehicles and cyclists was echoed by Gerry Matthews, campaigns officer for Tower Hamlets Wheelers.
She said: “The blue paint on Cycle Superhigways is meaningless, it’s got no status in the law.
“What you need is an solid white line and curbing to segregate all Cycle Superhighways from other traffic, which can be enforced by police. That is what they are introducing on the new planned Cycle Superhighway from Bow to Stratford.”
Friday’s protest ride started at Tower Hill and finished at Altab Ali Park. On route campaigners stopped at the junction of Whitechapel Road and Commercial Street to pay respect to Philippine at the spot where she died.
The junction has been under review for some time.
A spokesperson for London Mayor, Boris Johnson, said: “The Mayor’s vision for cycling in London, published earlier this year, specifically names this stretch of road as one that needs major improvements and his team are determined to ensure those changes are made.”
Philippine became the third cyclist to die in collision with a lorry on or near the Superhighway 2 running through East London. Brian Dorling and Svitlana Tereschenko were both killed at Bromley-by-Bow roundabout in 2011. Two other cyclist also died in Lewisham and Holborn within the past month.