Protest called by cyclist group in wake of ‘Boris bike’ death

Protest ride in Blackfriars in 2011. Photo: London Cycling Campaign

Protest ride in Blackfriars in 2011. Photo: London Cycling Campaign.

London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has invited all Londoners to a protest ride on Friday evening from Tower Hill to Aldgate in response to the deaths of two cyclists in Aldgate and Lewisham over the last two weeks.

The protest will stop at the junction of Whitechapel Road to pay respects to the 20-year old French student Philippine De Gerin-Ricard who died after being hit by a lorry on her “Boris bike” last Friday – the first fatality on a Barclays Hire bike since 2010. She came to London to improve her English and “used the Boris bikes every day” her sister said in the Evening Standard.

It aims to appeal to the Mayor and local councils that Londoners cycling on busy roads need “dedicated space” to protect them from fast-moving and heavy motor traffic.

The LCC said: “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.”

Since the introduction of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways, campaign groups have complained frequently about the inadequacy in the designs of the different projects.

Roger Stocker, 56, a Local Government officer and member of Lewisham cyclists, revealed to ELL in an email this month that Tfl had “little involvement in the designs” of Cycle Superhighway 5 – where cyclist Paul Hutcheson died close to.

In another letter to Tfl dated February 2011 before construction started on Cycle Superhighway 2, LCC warned the proposed project failed to come anywhere near to providing a safe or comfortable cycle route and that it should be halted.

On Sunday a male cyclist was hit by a bus in Hackney. Police were called at approx. 17:20 to Stamford Hill junction with Clapton Common. The victim remains in a critical condition at an east London hospital.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call police on 020 8597 4874.

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