Mayor and TfL announce ambitious plans for improving cycle safety

9 March 2010
  • London's Cycle Safety Action Plan unveiled as the capital gears up for a year of cycling
  • New, powerful cycle safety advertising campaign launches this week 
  • Londoners urged to sign up for TfL-funded cycle training through their local borough councils 

The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have today published a major plan of action to improve the safety of cyclists in the Capital.  The initiative coincides with the launch of an edgy TfL cycle safety advertising campaign on television and in cinemas across London.

A new advert will be shown in primetime slots on ITV1, Channel 4 and FIVE that focuses on a bank heist where as the robbers rush to get away a cyclist pays a heavy price. The advert appeals to drivers to look out for cyclists using the message: the more you look out for something, the more obvious it becomes. It can be viewed online at www.dothetest.co.uk, which also hosts TfL's other innovative cycle safety adverts such as the clever Cluedo-style 'whodunnit'.

The Mayor's Cycle Safety Action Plan, including input from expert groups as well as ordinary Londoners, identifies the types of collision that are most likely to result in serious cycling accidents and sets out measures to reduce them over the next year.

Key problems identified include collisions with heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), which account for more than half of London's cyclist fatalities each year, and 'close proximity' collisions, where cyclists and other road users fail to give each other enough road space. The plan, which will be delivered in partnership with the Police, London boroughs, the freight industry, and cycling and road safety campaign groups, features a range of measures including: 

  • Providing additional funding to boost the provision and effectiveness of cycle training in advance of the launch of the Cycle Hire Scheme and Cycle Superhighways. The Mayor and TfL are calling for Londoners to sign up for the TfL-funded cycle training available through London's borough councils by visiting www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling 
  • The development of an awareness-raising campaign targeted specifically at improving safety between HGVs and cyclists.
  • Working with the Police to tackle irresponsible road user behaviour.
  • Working with the London Criminal Justice Board to strengthen criminal justice procedures for dealing with cyclist deaths and serious injuries.
  • Delivering safer infrastructure for cyclists, including the first two Cycle Superhighways, which will trial new safety features such as Trixi mirrors.
  • Researching the potential for piloting cyclists being able to turn left at red traffic lights, and the potential for a 'cycling safety code of conduct'.
  • Distributing safety mirrors to fleet operators and working with the industry to avoid deliveries at peak times, especially on roads with high cycle flows. 
  • Working with bike retailers and manufacturers to provide safety messages at the point of sale.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "The arrival of spring in London is now accompanied by a glorious cornucopia of cyclists taking to the streets in a purposeful display of pedal power. I want each and every one of those people to be as safe as possible, and for thousands more to join them, which is why we are working in every conceivable way to give Londoners the road awareness, infrastructure, and statutory support to stay safe.

This is London's year of cycling and we are working tirelessly with the police, cycling industry, safety groups, freight operators and more to ensure it can be enjoyed by everyone from seasoned commuters through to those taking up cycling for the first time.

Ben Plowden, Director of Integrated Programme Delivery at TfL, said: 'The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London's roads has fallen by around a fifth in the last decade, despite the fact that cycle journeys on London's major roads have more than doubled in this time. But with an anticipated increase in the number of Londoners joining the cycle revolution following the launch of the London Cycle Hire scheme and the first two Cycle Superhighways routes this summer, we are aware that there has never been a more important time to focus on cycle safety.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London's transport advisor, said: A cycling revolution is taking place in London as our unprecedented investment switches more and more people on to the cleanest, greenest way of travelling.  Safety is at the heart of our vision and the Mayor's Cycle Safety Action Plan sits at the heart of our work. Together we will make sure that cycling is fun, accessible and safe for everyone."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London's roads has fallen by 21 per cent in the last decade. This is despite the fact that the number of cycle journeys made on London's major roads has increased by 107 per cent since 2000. The Mayor and TfL have a target to increase cycling by 400 per cent by 2025 (compared to 2000 levels).
  • Advance copies of the Cycle Safety Action Plan are available for the media under embargo from TfL's press office on 0845 604 4141.
  • The plan was first published as a draft in October 2009 for public comment.  TfL received over 400 responses. At the same time, a Cycle Safety Working Group was created which is comprised of key road user and cycling organisations, the Metropolitan Police and the London boroughs. This group will work to oversee implementation of the plan.
  • To help tackle the serious issue of collisions between cyclists and goods vehicles, TfL has already distributed 20,000 cycle safety mirrors (known as Fresnel lenses) to freight companies operating in London and contacted 300 operators that have construction vehicles in their fleet, urging them to install side-bars or other safety devices on HGVs that are currently exempt. TfL has also contacted around 7,000 freight companies to encourage them to join TfL's Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS).
  • TfL's most recent published data on cyclist KSIs (killed or seriously injured) is for 2008. That year, 15 cyclists died on London's roads. Nine of those cyclists were involved in a collision with a goods vehicle.
  • The Mayor and TfL are investing a record £111 million in cycling in 2009/10. That money is being spent on improving safety for cyclists, the London Cycle Hire scheme, Cycle Superhighways, infrastructure, promotion and education.
  • The Mayor and TfL are calling for more people to sign up for the TfL-funded cycle training available through London's borough councils, and in the past year have invested £3 million in cycle training for Londoners of all ages in which cyclists learn more about staying safe on London's roads and staying aware of other road users. In addition, £1.49m of funding will be given to the eight boroughs benefiting from the two pilot Cycle Superhighways being delivered this summer for cycle training, parking and cycle maintenance sessions. Approximately £1.5 million will be spent on safety measures as part of the London Cycle Hire scheme including installing safety measures at junctions for cyclists, cycle training and provision of cycles to the boroughs.
  • Visit www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling for information on how to set up your cycle training session.
  • An online five minute cycle safety training film can be viewed at www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling  and on You Tube, and gives safety tips and advice to cyclists and drivers of goods vehicles on how to navigate London's roads, and each other, safely.

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