Open letter sent to Mayor Boris Johnson by a family friend of Bow cyclist fatality Brian Dorling

This is an open letter sent by a family friend of Brian Dorling to the Mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr Dorling was run over by a lorry on Monday 24 October, at Bow roundabout, a location that forms part of Cycle Superhighway 2.  

The letter laments the poor facilites for cyclists on this dangerous route, and calls for the Mayor to bring about substantial improvements, no matter the effect on motor traffic. 

Dear Boris Johnson,

I very much admire you as an engaging political character and an advocate of the green and healthy benefits of cycling in general. That said, I hope and expect that you must be greatly saddened by the death on Monday morning of a good friend of my family and me, Brian Dorling, at the Bow roundabout.

From what I understand, it seems frankly appalling that cyclists are actively encouraged to follow a corporate-sponsored cycle route that leaves them at a junction already and widely known as an accident waiting to happen.

There is a ghastly irony that while London is promoting cycle access to the Olympic Park, Brian - himself a keen amateur sportsman - should die cycling on his way to work as a surveyor on this very project.

We shall support his family at this time as best we can, but I would also hope that yourself and Transport for London also do not let him down.

Brian's death has been reported as the first on the so-called 'Cycle Superhighways'. His legacy, and the ultimate success of these schemes, is to ensure that his is also the last.

Please assure me, and those of us close to Brian, that (without reference to the consequences of interfering with the flow of motorised traffic) cyclists will be warned they are entering a Danger Zone at this location and that alternative routes are provided and that suitable signage is erected.

I look forward to a positive response that may bring some recognition and comfort to his family and those others of us who are now without our friend.

Yours sincerely

Mr S R Maynard

Copies of the letter were sent to us, the Mayor, Newham Council, Sustrans, CTC, the Olympic Delivery Agency, ROSPA and Sebastian Coe (LOCOG).


  • By JHW at 7:40am 29 October 2011

Absolutely first class letter (no pun intended)

  • By Austen at 8:36am 29 October 2011

A very good letter - and one which raises a valuable point - Barclays.

Mr Maynard writes "it seems frankly appalling that cyclists are actively encouraged to follow a corporate-sponsored cycle route that leaves them at a junction already and widely known as an accident waiting to happen."

Given that TfL are stonewalling cyclists, perhaps the way round them is to get Barclays to apply some additional  pressure.  After all, what corporate sponsor would want to be associated with something that is so poorly designed as to be dangerous?


Very good letter. Perhaps LCC could suggest that Mr Maynard should send a copy to the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring, and the Commissioner of TFL, Peter Hendy, as well. 

Maybe that will at least prevent them installing another Barclays - sponsored suicide lane straight through the lethal Vauxhall gyratory, as is currently planned?

This post was edited by baron samedi at 12:11pm 29 October 2011.

  • By Irena at 3:10pm 29 October 2011
  • By Irena at 3:12pm 29 October 2011

Good letter. How about sending it to Barclays Press office?


  • By bob at 4:47pm 29 October 2011

This content was deleted by bob at 4:48pm 29 October 2011.

  • By bob at 5:02pm 29 October 2011

Are the proposals for a left hand cycle lane only?  I don't care how narrow a cycle lane is - if it's going my way - particularly if it is to the right - it's a "heads up" to motorists not to just expect me to cling to the kerb... 

  • By bob at 9:16am 30 October 2011

First of all our thoughts are with this cyclist and his family and freinds at this time. Further fatal cycle accidents must and can be prevented providing cycling is more centre stage politically. Here are some ideas about best ways forward-

1 May I recommend that LCC work with Sustrans, CCT and others to employ the best legal people possible to bring legal proceedings where necessary, the actions of coroners courts, police etc
2 Could LCC launch even more public campaigns with media to highlight every cyclists death in London
3 Can it make closer contacts with MPs -I wonder is there an MPs cyclists group? (like they have other groups, such as wine lovers, or cricketers)
4 With others could it draw more on high profile celebrity cyclists to highlight these issues
5 Finally I agree with what someone else said about the impact of bad publicity on the Mayor/TFL
6 Call for a an action and awareness ride -like you brilliantly led at Blackfriars Bridge- in a key central London location - after each time there is a cycling fatality
7 Use the local London cycling groups to promote interest
8 Check out the cycling routes around and to the Olympic Stadium and use and monitor cycle routes, accidents and (hopefully not) fatalities leading up to the upcoming Olympics.
9 Can LCC get a London university to undertake research about cycling accidents
10 Could critical mass be more supportive of the safety agenda?

11 Get more non-cycling Londoners on our side and not being irritated by cyclists by cyclists NOT jumping red lights, having no lights at night etc

I know this is asking for a lot -but maybe you and other organisations can make a start- I and many many others will continue to support LCC and its campaigns


TfL needs to ensure that all future highway modifications in London conform to the Dutch cycle design standards.

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Excellent working dear Friend.keep working get more success in the name of share best info.

  • By Tomm at 7:54pm 17 March 2015

This content was deleted by smsm1 at 11:40pm 12 April 2015.

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