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Road Safety

Ensuring that all road users are able to safely travel on London's roads is an important priority for London Boroughs and the Mayor of London.  

  • By Owain Mortimer

Road Safety Action Plan 

In 2013 the Mayor of London and TfL published a new Road Safety Action Plan to 2020, "Safe Streets for London".

The Road Safety Action Plan includes a range of actions, including improving junctions, safer lorries and vans and support for 20mph limits, to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured annually by a further 40 per cent by 2020 from the 2005-09 baseline.

The Action Plan identifies motorcycles, pedestrians and cyclists as vulnerable road users and amongst its 56 actions, includes a commitment to publish a Motorcycle Safety Action Plan (MSAP), a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) and a new Cycle Safety Action Plan (CSAP).

The Mayor of London and TfL consulted on the plan in 2012. 

London Councils responded to the draft plan, to ensure that borough interests and concerns were taken into consideration, with the following key points.

  • London Councils welcomed the draft Road Safety Action Plan as a framework to help drive and coordinate pan-London action, but we argued that more should to be done to reduce casualties, particularly among vulnerable users.
  • Closer and earlier liaison between TfL and the boroughs is needed in order to maximise road safety advancements, particularly where the TfL road network forms the local high street.
  • New technology and innovation must be rolled out where it is most appropriate and supported by evidence.
  • There is some support for a generic, London-wide target to reduce the number of killed and seriously injured casualties, but significant support for additional targets – or a means of clearly tracking progress – focused on the most vulnerable road users.

Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

TfL published a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan in 2014.  It was prepared by TfL working with a number of stakeholders, making up the Pedestrian Safety Working Group. The Plan aims to address the concerns and challenges faced by pedestrians across London. It outlines 31 key actions which will directly target the key factors in collisions and help further reduce pedestrian casualties across London.

London Councils responded to the draft plan in March 2014 to ensure that borough interests and concerns are taken into consideration. The key issues raised in our response were:

  • The draft Plan did not put enough emphasis on accessibility and risk for disabled people. 
  • The draft Plan did not refer to the growing problem of cyclists using the pavement or campaigns aimed at stopping cyclists riding over zebra crossings. 
  • TfL did not seem to use any NHS data or highlight the issue of under-reporting of casualties/injuries. 
  • Given the focus on older pedestrians, the Plan was missing a specific action on education and communication targeted to older pedestrians. Such resource would ensure they are aware of road safety issues specific to their age group.  

Cycle Safety Action Plan

In 2014, TfL published a Cycle Safety Action Plan.  The Cycle Safety Action Plan has been compiled by TfL working with a number of stakeholders, making up the Cycle Safety Working Group. The plan aims to address the concerns and challenges faced by cyclists across London. It outlines 33 key actions which will directly target the key factors in collisions and help further reduce cyclist casualties across London.

This followed consultation on a draft Cycle Safety Action Plan in June 2014.

London Councils has responded to the draft plan to ensure that borough interests and concerns are taken into consideration.  We broadly welcomed the draft action plan but suggested that TfL should:

  • Take action to help stimulate cycling in areas where participation is low.
  • Clarify the support available from TfL to implement 20 mph schemes.
  • Include a specific 'communication, skills and training' action to improve the safety of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic cyclists.
  • Lobbying for a change in the Highway Code to have a hierarchy of priority to different road users beginning with pedestrians, then cyclists and finally motorised vehicles.

TfL responded positively to a number of London Councils' suggestions.

Safer Lorry Scheme

London Councils is also introducing the Safer Lorry Control Scheme with TfL, which will require that all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes driving on London's roads have extended view mirrors and side guards.