UEL Bicycle Shelter Security

Unfortunately a UEL cyclist had his bicycle tampered with whilst parked in the Docklands Bicycle shelter. We have reported the incident to security who are undertaking an investigation.

However, thanks to our maintenance team we have taken immediate action including:

  • Retro fitting a bar to the underside of the Docklands shelter so that even a very slim teenager or youth cannot slide under the shelter (not necessary at Stratford as it has already been lowered)
  • Internal thumb latches have been replaced with a key lock at both Stratford and Docklands, thus stopping any local houdini reaching through the bars.
  • The Stratford and Docklands shelters now share the same key, so tenants only need to carry one as opposed to two keys. Also making any need to replace locks cheaper. A separate key will still be required at Duncan House which will be issued to Duncan House users only.  

These measures will improve security but we also strongly suspect that access was gained to the Docklands shelter because someone had left the door open, especially as the door needs to be locked manually on exit.

So a reminder for all of us - make sure you lock the door behind you. 

The security team will also be making their own conclusions and it is hoped that we will be installing new CCTV cameras that will be trained on the Docklands shelter.

We all need to be vigilant reporting any incident to security and taking individual responsibility to safeguard the bicycles of the UEL community.

Regards and be careful out there



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).

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Members, have you voted in the board elections? And don't miss the AGM

For the first time ages, we have contested board of trustee elections this year.

This is no mean feat for any organisation as nearly half of all trustee positions in UK charities are vacant.

So when most charities are struggling to find people willing to invest time and effort for free as trustees, we now have a healthy surplus.

This is in no small part due to the increased effort we've put in during 2011 to encourage people to nominate themselves for the trustee elections.

We've also made it easier to contact existing trustees.

  • Our new website, launched in June, has a section devoted to current board members and their activities
  • We published an article about the board and the election in the August-September issue of London Cyclist magazine
  • We held an open day at our head office where prospective nominees could speak with staff and current board members
  • We made all our board members easily contactable by standardising their email addresses as This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For example, you can contact chair Andy Cawdell by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The surplus of candidates is no doubt also due to the popularity of cycling in London at the moment, and we're delighted so many people are keen to play their part in making London a better cycling city.

This year, there are ten candidates for six places, and members can vote for up to six using the form posted to them with the October-November 2011 issue of London Cyclist magazine. (This is a secret ballot.)

Members are also invited to use the same form to vote on motions to the AGM (please note the correction to Motion 8 on this page).

Members can also vote in person at the 2011 AGM, which takes place on Wednesday 16 November at South Bank University in SE1.

At the AGM, which we encourage all members to attend, there'll be refreshments, as well as exciting discussions and presentations:

  • Free buffet with food and alcoholic drinks (7-7.30pm)
  • Introduction to Go Dutch 2012 mayoral election campaign
  • Review of our activities during 2010-11 (see photo)
  • London Cycling Awards 2011
  • Drinks in The Albert Arms from 9pm

You can also find our 2011 Accounts and the minutes of the 2010 AGM on this page.

Look forward to seeing you there...

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Lorry driver who killed cyclist in 2009 involved in second fatal collision in London

Private Eye magazine has revealed that Joao Lopes, the lorry driver who in February 2009 killed Eilidh Cairns at Notting Hill Gate, has been involved in another fatal collision in London.

In June of this year Lopes is alleged to have run over and killed Nora Gutmann (pictured), a 97-year-old woman who was crossing Marylebone Road on a pedestrian crossing opposite Madame Tussauds.

Ms Gutmann had lived in London since moving here as a refugee from Nazi Germany. A tribute page on Facebook celebrates her life.

Police investigation failures

The family of Notting Hill victim Eilidh Cairns are outraged at the failures in police procedures that resulted in insufficient evidence to prosecute Lopes for her death.

The first police officers on the scene of the fatal crash failed to collect names and addresses of potential witnesses, instead asking the drivers of the vehicles immediately behind the collision to turn around and leave the scene of the crash in order to get traffic flowing.

Police investigating the crash also failed to check Lopes' eyesight at the time of the crash, even though in his defence he said he hadn't seen the cyclist.

When his eyesight was checked several months later it was found he couldn't see well enough to legally drive a 32-tonne lorry.

By this time, however, it was too late to use his defective vision as part of a prosecution case for killing Eilidh.

Instead, Lopes was charged with the relatively minor offence of driving with uncorrected vision, for which he received only a £200 fine and three points on his licence.

Family 'let down' by coroner

The Cairns family have said they also feel they were let down by the Coroner's Court, which returned a verdict of accidental death.

They've recently challenged this verdict in the High Court, claiming the coroner should have allowed questions about the driver's actions and adjourned the inquest to allow the family time to get expert witness evidence on the issues that arose in court.

Many families in the past have expressed similar dissatisfaction with the way Coroners' Courts operate, saying they prevent full examination of evidence.

LCC's road safety expert Charlie Lloyd said, "The frequent failure of coroners to allow families prior access to the evidence or to allow them to ask relevant questions during proceedings means that in considering road deaths the current system is unfit for purpose."

Long-term campaigns

Kate Cairns, Eilidh's sister, has led a succession of campaigns with the aim of making lorries better equipped with mirrors and sensors that detect nearby cyclists and pedestrians.

As a result of action by her MEP, the European Commission is considering ways to reduce the danger from lethal lorries.

LCC's No More Lethal Lorries campaign has also highlighted the need for better-designed HGVs in urban areas, as well as organising a 10,000-signature petition cycle training for drivers to local councils and haulage firms.

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