Bow roundabout accident victim’s widow to warn of cycling dangers

The widow of a cyclist killed at a busy East End junction is going back to the spot on Monday to help warn others about the dangers posed by lorries.

Police have described Debbie Dorling, whose 58-year-old husband Brian collided with a lorry at Bow roundabout in October, as “very brave” for her tireless efforts to improve safety in the area.

She will join officers during the busy morning rush hour as they invite passing cyclists to sit in the cab of a tipper truck to give them an idea of the blind spots drivers face.

The junction, part of one of Boris Johnson’s flagship cycle superhighways, has drawn major concern from campaign groups for more than two years, with many arguing that its cycling lanes do not adequately segregate riders from vehicles.

Just weeks after Mr Dorling was killed cyclist Svitlana Tereschenko, 34, died at another spot on the roundabout after colliding with an HGV.

PC Simon Wickenden, who works for the Tower Hamlets branch of the Met’s traffic management unit, said it is hoped Ms Dorling’s presence on Monday will have a big impression on cyclists.

He said: “It’s important she is going down because she’s obviously so personally affected by it. It will have more of an impact than just a police officer doing their job and for that I think she’s been very brave. She wants to make a difference.”

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Ms Dorling told the Advertiser: “I think it’s important to make cyclists aware of lorries and lorries aware of cyclists.”

Officers are also upping their efforts to educate people about the work being done to bring more prosecutions following collisions, from seizing phone records to checking texts to see if a mobile was being used at the time.

Last year Ms Dorling met with Boris Johnson to discuss her concerns about the road layout at the junction.

This week he and Transport for London announced a series of safety proposals including timed traffic light signals for cyclists and a dedicated cyclist lane on the Bow flyover.

Investigations into both incidents are ongoing with the Road Death Investigation Unit at Chadwell Heath.