There was another increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads in 2018, figures released this week show, prompting a call for the Mayor to implement more measures more urgently for sustainable walking and cycling.
Transport for London and Mayor Sadiq Khan have a Vision Zero policy, with the target that to reduce road danger and have no one killed on London’s roads by 2041, so this week’s figures are a set-back for such ambitions.
In an extraordinary instance of callous complacency, TfL has explained the 5 per cent increase in deaths and injuries on the capital’s roads in 2018, to 4,065, on the increase in the number of people cycling. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy has a target to increase trips in London by walking, cycling and public transport to 80 per cent by 2041.
The latest figures also show a 14 per cent increase in people who were “seriously” injured while cycling. Cyclists killed or injured on our roads increased from 4,521 to 4,755 in 2018.
Caroline Russell, the London-wide Assembly Member for the Green Party, said: “These worrying statistics have again reminded us of the daily toll of deaths and serious injuries on London roads.
“Serious injuries are life-changing, we’ve seen people who have lost limbs and will struggle to walk again, let alone the mental trauma on the victim and their families of being involved in a serious collision.
“The Mayor still has the opportunity to make real strides towards reducing road danger, he should bring in 20mph on all of TfL roads, not just those in central London. He could introduce a rolling programme of funding for Liveable neighbourhoods: when bidding for the first round of funding opened in 2018 almost every borough applied for a grant, but only seven won.
“The Mayor should also bring in greater enforcement on our roads, from ensuring speed limits are kept to policing ‘close pass’ offences where drivers intimidate people travelling on bikes.
“I’m glad more people are using bikes to get around, but cycling should still be safe. There is a long way to go before we reach Vision Zero, and at the moment we aren’t heading in the right direction.”
Russell has also taken issue with the language used by TfL in describing incidents on its database as “accidents”, rather than, say, collisions. “In reality, most ‘accidents’ are in fact preventable, not unavoidable mishaps.”
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