Woman killed on A11 cycle lane named as Philippine Degerin-Ricard

Floral tribute in Whitechapel to Philippine Degerin-Ricard

Floral tribute in Whitechapel to Philippine Degerin-Ricard - Credit: Archant

A cyclist who died riding a hired-bike along a new ‘cycle safety highway’ through a notoriously-busy junction in east London during Friday’s evening rush-hour has been formally identified today as 20-year-old Philippine Degerin-Ricard, from the South of France.

Philippine was cycling to her home in Bow along the much-criticised H2 blue cycle lane along the A11 through Gardiner’s Corner gyratory system, where Whitechapel High Street converges with Commercial Street and the A13 Commercial Road, when she was in collision with a lorry.

She died despite a paramedic team from the nearby Royal London Hospital desperately trying to save her life at the crash scene.

It was the first fatality since the ‘Boris Bike’ hire scheme began in 2010.

Philippine’s parents flew in from France last night to formally identify her at Poplar Mortuary, where a post mortem examination today found cause of death to be multiple injuries. An inquest formally opens at Poplar Coroner’s Court tomorrow.

Demands are being made for the cycle highway along the A11 to be redesigned after this second cycling fatality.

The London Assembly’s John Biggs, who has been campaigning for better cycle safety along the A11, visited the scene yesterday where floral tributes have been laid by the London Cycle Campaign.

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“I wouldn’t let a child of mine cycle here,” he said. “The cycle highway painted blue on the road creates a sense of safety, which evidence suggests is not the case.

“A bit of blue paint doesn’t make you safe—there are hazards at busy junctions like this.”

Whitechapel is too congested and narrow for a segregated bike path, he points out, yet this is where the H2 route to Bow begins, with cyclists having to share congested road space with other traffic.

Biggs was in talks only last week with TfL over the dangers along the A11 including the notorious Bow Roundabout where a rider was killed last year.

Many cyclists say the Boris hire bike is not manoeuvrable enough in heavy traffic. Cyclist Sophie Gosling, 28, who rides through Gardiner’s Corner every day from her home in Bow, said: “You can’t manoeuvre these heavy bikes through heavy traffic if you’re not experienced enough. I would only hire one if I was desperate.”

The Cycle Campaign is calling for traffic light sequences to be changed at the junction to give priority to cyclists in future.

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