Bow roundabout ‘an accident waiting to happen’, cyclist’s inquest hears

Brian Dorling, 58, who worked on the Olympic site, has been identified as the cyclist who died after

Brian Dorling, 58, who worked on the Olympic site, has been identified as the cyclist who died after a collision with a tipper lorry. - Credit: submitted

The layout of Boris Johnson’s ‘cycle superhighway’ where a rider died after being dragged beneath the wheels of a lorry was “an accident waiting to happen”, an inquest heard.

Brian Dorling, 58, was on his way to work at the Olympic Park when he was crushed by a tipper truck in rush hour traffic nearly two years ago.

He was crossing Bow interchange when the vehicle turned into him as it tried to exit the roundabout on to the A12 on October 24 2011.

At an inquest at Poplar Coroner’s Court on Monday, police witnesses said the painted strip along which Mr Dorling, from Hounslow, was riding “means nothing” in law.

Coroner Mary Hassell said: “It just seems it’s an accident waiting to happen if cyclists are guided into space where the blue paint is on the left, then they are in the very place where the lorry is most likely to hit them.

“It seems like they are getting into the space where they are most vulnerable.

“What worries me is that the blue strip pretends that the situation is something other than it is.”

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Collision investigator PC Alex Hewitt added: “It’s just a piece of blue paint. It’s got no legal meaning at all.

“If the blue surface hadn’t been there, Mr Dorling would not have thought he had right of way.”

Cycle superhighway’s designer Marius Leroux admitted he would make changes to the junction if he were commissioned for the role again.

“I think segregation is ultimately a very good design because it completely removes cyclists away from the traffic,” he said.

The collision led to the prosecution of the truck driver David Cox, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to causing death by careless driving.

Mr Cox, 49, was given a 24-week suspended jail sentence, a 100-hour community service order, and was banned from driving for two years.

Giving evidence at the inquest, he said: “I have thought about it a million times since. I can’t change anything, unfortunately.”

The inquest continues.