Road Safety

MQT on 2009-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Can you cut road safety enforcement budgets and make roads safer?


Answer for Road Safety

Answer for Road Safety

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Thank you, Jenny. The answer is that we do think that we can make the changes and variations that we have done, whilst continuing to bear down on the numbers of those killed or seriously injured.

Jenny Jones (AM): I seem to have heard that you do support the issue of road safety and making sure that road danger is reduced on our roads. You said on Radio 4 the other morning there has got to be greater attention to safety. Yet, I, personally, just do not believe it is possible to reduce the amount of money you are spending by the amounts that you are going to reduce it, taking out, for example, all the money on safety cameras. If you reduce the money by that amount you will, in fact, push up the casualty rate - and it is a huge fear of mine - especially as you are going to have loads and loads of inexperienced cyclists on the road.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): As I say, I do think that what we have done with the freight operator recognition scheme (FORS) scheme is practicable. As we were discussing the other day when I appeared in my capacity as Chair of the MPA, you raised this then as well, we are going to make sure that freight operators continue to be visited by the police if one of their members is involved in an accident --

Jenny Jones (AM): They will not have many powers.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): As you know we have started a big initiative on making sure that heavy goods vehicles are safer, not just with the Fresnel mirrors, but also --

Jenny Jones (AM): How are they going to be safer? How are you going to make them safer?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): One of the things that we are asking for is they should be equipped more systematically --

Jenny Jones (AM): But this is self-enforcing isn't it? It is self-enforcing.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): -- with a bar on the side to stop cyclists being dragged underneath. That is one of the reasons why we have seen some fatalities.

Jenny Jones (AM): You are expecting companies to do this themselves. It is a self-enforcing system which rarely works --

Darren Johnson (Chair): A brief answer to this because the Green Group is now out of time.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): We do think that the freight operator recognition scheme will deliver. On cycle safety generally, we are putting money into it, we believe in it passionately, we cannot see an explosion in cycling, a huge cycling revolution in London of the kind that we want, if we do not make sure that people understand how to cycle safely and, above all, that people understand that they cannot break the law when cycling; they must not cycle on pavements and intimidate other road users.