Cycle safety (2)

MQT on 2012-03-14
Session date: 
March 14, 2012
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


For each of the 8 manifesto points in the 'Times Cities fit for cycling campaign' could you please provide details of the actions you are taking to make them a reality in London?


Answer for Cycle safety (2)

Answer for Cycle safety (2)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

(Written answer provided on 13 April 2012.)

I fully support The Times' Cities Fit for Cycling campaign and commend their ongoing work to raise the profile of cycle safety. Investing in cycle safety has always been a top priority for me and TfL is now spending more than ever on the cycling programme.

The 8-point manifesto gives us an opportunity to take stock of our work over the last few years and I recognise that more always needs to be done. This is why I am taking a fresh look at cycle safety and why TfL is redoubling its efforts to ensure that London's streets are places that are truly fit for cycling.

1. Trucks entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible truck-turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.

London is leading the way nationally in terms of addressing the conflicts between cyclists and HGVs. TfL runs FORS, a free membership scheme for freight operators which encourages them to become safer, greener and more efficient. Free FORS workshops and online driver training offer specific elements aimed at improving safety around cyclists. TfL also offers discounted safety products to members of FORS, including devices such as alarms, sensors and mirrors.

The GLA and TfL are using the procurement framework to increase the use of safety technology by operators. The GLA's Responsible Procurement document states that all new contracts require freight operators to join FORS, fit blind spot warning systems and train their drivers to become more aware of cyclists. In addition, action is being taken to ensure all of TfL's HGV fleet and contractors' vehicles are retro-fitted with best practice safety technology by end of 2012.

In addition, TfL is commissioning an independent review of the design, operation and driving of construction industry vehicles, such as skip lorries, tipper trucks and cement mixers. The review will look at how we can make those vehicles safer through physical improvements such as side bars, extra mirrors and sensors and, through better training for drivers of these large vehicles. The review will make recommendations that will be implemented during 2012 and beyond.

Also, I recently announced that additional funding has been secured to increase the size of the Metropolitan Police Service Commercial Vehicle Taskfoce by 40 per cent (eight additional officers). This will increase enforcement capacity to tackle road risk from HGVs, particularly in the construction sector.

2. The 500 most dangerous road junctions must be identified, redesigned or fitted with priority traffic lights for cyclists and Trixi mirrors that allow lorry drivers to see cyclists on their near-side.

Towards the end of last year, I asked TfL to review hundreds of key junctions across the capital to specifically examine safety and provision for cyclists. This includes 150 major planned schemes on the TLRN, as well as every junction on our Cycle Superhighways, plus some other locations that are of particular concern. In total, around five hundred junctions are being reviewed with the junctions of St. Georges Circus, Highbury Corner, Stockwell Gyratory and Tottenham High Road / West Green Road among the first to be reviewed by summer 2012.

More information on this work can be found here:

After two cyclists were killed last year at Bow roundabout, I called for an urgent review of the roundabout. Engineers at TfL have been working with cycling groups and stakeholders to develop further the plans for improving safety for cyclists at the roundabout. The design under discussion, which would give an early start for cyclists amongst other things, would be the first of its kind in the UK. TfL is aiming to deliver any improvements prior to the 2012 Games.

London was the first location in the UK to trial blind spot safety mirrors and 87 mirrors have been installed to date at signalised junctions on the first four Barclays Cycle Superhighways routes. The DfT has now authorised Trixi safety mirrors for use by all highway authorities at traffic signal controlled junctions. A programme of fitting Trixi mirrors on the TLRN is currently being developed and the total number of mirrors will be finalised once this task is complete

In addition, Crossrail is installing Trixi mirrors along a number of its lorry routes. To date it has worked with TfL to install 49 mirrors covering 13 sites, with a further 22 mirrors planned to be installed in the near future.

3. A national audit of cycling to find out how many people cycle in Britain and how cyclists are killed or injured should be held to underpin effective cycle safety.

TfL closely monitors cycling trends in London and there are two main methods used to monitor activity:

1. London Travel Demand Survey - The survey provides an insight into how Londoners travel and includes 19,000 households. On an average day in 2010 there were around 500,000 cycle trips made in London.

2. TLRN Automatic Counters - Automatic counters are used to give the growth of cycling on the main TLRN road network. Since 2000, there has been a 150 per cent increase in levels of cycling on our main roads, with a 15 per cent increase between 2009/10 and 2010/11 alone.

There is always scope to improve the methods for monitoring cyclists, which is why TfL is constantly reviewing of data collection, by increasing the sample sizes of surveys and installing additional monitoring equipment.

In terms of monitoring the number of people killed or injured on London's roads, this data is made available through the Stats 19 forms collected by Police and is published annually in Travel in London and in the road safety Pedal Cycle Factsheets. Every year, the roads with the greatest number of personal injury collisions are identified and prioritised, allowing resources to be targeted intelligently at those areas with the most pressing road safety problems. This ensures the greatest year-by-year reduction in collisions.

I also published my Cycle Safety Action (CSAP) Plan in March 2010. This is based on an analysis of the causes of cycle fatalities, and was developed and agreed with cycling and road safety stakeholders. The objective of the plan is to reduce the number of collisions on London's roads involving cyclists by providing safer infrastructure and taking action against irresponsible and dangerous road user behaviour. The plan identified 52 actions, within nine action areas to, improve cycle safety. The CSAP, as well as the end of year review published in 2011, is available at:

4. Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.

I have discussed the need for greater investment in London's roads with the Secretary of State for Transport. Also, the Highways Agency is only responsible for 1 per cent of roads in London, and I am keen to work with Government, boroughs and developers to identify all possible opportunities for funding of provision for cycling.

5. The training of cyclists and drivers must improve and cycle safety should become a core part of the driving test.

Improving infrastructure is only part of the solution, and it is vital that we do as much as we can to educate all road users as to how they can make cycling safer. Action is being taken to educate and train cyclists and drivers, introducing new vehicle technology and campaigns. TfL has developed both a theory and an on-bike Driver Certificate of Professional Competence accredited training course on cycle awareness for commercial drivers. To date, approximately 3,445 drivers have been trained

TfL is supporting the boroughs in providing cycle training to people who live, work or study in their borough. In 2010/2011, 8350 individuals were trained representing a 42 per cent increase on 2008/09 figures.

6. 20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.

London has more 20mph roads than any other UK city, with over 3,000km of 20mph roads on the network. TfL supports boroughs introducing 20mph limits, and over 400 20mph zones have been implemented in London to date, with the majority of this work funded by TfL's £150m annual Local Implementation Plan funding.

7. Businesses should be invited to sponsor cycleways and cycling super-highways, mirroring the Barclays-backed bicycle hire scheme in London.

I have actively pursued opportunities to involve sponsors such as Barclays and Sky in our delivery of cycling schemes, as demonstrated by Barclays Cycle Hire, Barclays Cycle Superhighways and my Sky Rides. In July 2011, a year after the cycle hire scheme was first launched, I confirmed that Barclays had agreed to provide another £25m sponsorship. The extra funding will help the scheme to expand throughout west and south west London by the summer of 2013. The additional £25m takes Barclays total investment in the scheme to £50m.

8. Every city, even those without an elected mayor, should appoint a cycling commissioner to push home reforms.

One of my first moves when I came to City Hall was to pledge to turn London into a 'cyclised' city, a city where people see cycling as one of the best ways to get about. Investing in cycling remains a top priority for me and I have overseen the delivery of an ambitious programme to improve cycle safety and get more people cycling. TfL's senior management, from the Commissioner downwards, are wholly engaged in the delivery of London's Cycling Revolution.