The London Boroughs: Saving Lives or Saving Pounds?

Report by Will Nickell, on behalf of the Stop the Killing coalition

2nd April 2014

Introduction and methodology

During a 2-week period in November 2013, six cyclists lost their lives in road traffic collisions through London. This prompted many groups, both from the government and civil society sectors, to question the state of cycling and cycling infrastructure in the capital. This report has been produced from primary research into the infrastructure standards and spending of all local councils operating in London, including the City of London. The questions asked included levels of spending since the last set of local elections on the 5th of May 2010, the distance of cycling infrastructure separated from the main carriageway by a hard divider such as a kerb and the levels of planned spending for the upcoming 2014/15 financial year. The questionnaire was made in the format of Freedom of Information requests, submitted at the end of January 2014, to all 32 London borough councils and the Common Council of the City of London. At the time of writing on 23 March 2014, the following councils had failed to successfully respond to the request: Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Kingston-upon-Thames, Newham and Waltham Forest. The results of this research, from the councils who did respond, paint a concerning picture.

Responses

The first 2 questions asked about the distance of segregated infrastructure, as described above, and the percentage of the total road network under the council’s control that this constituted. Greenwich Borough Council claimed responsibility for 6.5 kilometres of segregated cycling infrastructure within their borough, meaning that out of the council’s that responded, Greenwich has the highest absolute distance. However, the figure of 6.5km constitutes only 1.2% of their total roading infrastructure. By contrast, the following councils have zero segregated cycling infrastructure: Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Haringey, Havering, Hounslow, Lambeth, Richmond upon Thames, Tower Hamlets & Wandsworth. Croydon and Southwark councils failed to provide the information for this question. The average distance of segregated cycleways, for those councils who did respond, is 1.05km.

In terms of percentage, Camden Borough Council state that 1.63% of their roading infrastructure consists of segregated cycleways, giving them the highest percentage. The average percentage of segregated cycleways for those councils who did respond with appropriate information is 0.39%.

Questions 3 and 4 related to the spending by councils on such segregation since the last set of local elections, which were held in May 2010. Bromley and Southwark councils responded to the freedom of information request, but failed to answer these questions. Only 2 councils that responded claimed to have spent any money on segregated cycleways since the last election; Croyden and Ealing, spending £320,000 and £400,000 respectively. All other responding councils who provided information for this question stated that they had spent nothing at all since the last election, meaning that the spreadsheet where this information was collated was left with a large series of zeroes running through the middle. Given the large number of councils who have spent no money on segregated cycleways in the 4 years since the last election, the average spend works out to be just under £27,700 per council, or £180,000 per year across all areas under local borough control.

Whilst the sums of £320,000 and £400,000 may appear to be a reasonable sum of money, these transpire to be only 3.1% and 2% of the council’s total transport spending for the given time period. With so many councils responding to these questions stating they had spent nothing, the average percentage spend is only 0.2%.

Questions 5 and 6 were asked with regard to the predicted spending by councils on segregated cycleways for the 2014/15 financial year, which begins in April. Some councils stated that the budget was yet to be decided and thus they could not give an accurate figure for their predicted spending. These councils were: Bexley, Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Haringey, Islington, Lewisham, Merton, Richmond-upon-Thames, Southwark and Westminster. The following councils stated that they had not budgeted any money to create safe cycling infrastructure; Bromley, Camden, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, City of London, Redbridge, Sutton, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth. Only Barking & Dagenham, Barnet and Hounslow stated that they are intending to spend any money on such infrastructure, with sums of £750,000, £400,000 and £200,000 budgeted respectively. The average spend per responding council equates to £79,500.

The figures above are equivalent to 34%, 11% and 9% respectively. None of these councils had spent any money on such infrastructure from the local elections until the date of response, thus it remains to be seen whether these pledges are fulfilled.

Question 7 was the last question that could be answered qualitatively. It asked councils for the percentage of roads under their control which have 20 miles per hour speed limits. The following councils failed to provide information for this question; Croydon, Havering and Hillingdon. The following councils provided some information, but stated that it was up to the person asking the freedom of information request questions to do the research themselves: Richmond-upon-Thames, Southwark and Wandsworth.

There is a wide variation in the levels of provision for 20mph limits across the different councils. Kensington & Chelsea have not implemented a single 20mph limit according to their response, whereas Camden and Islington both have all roads under their control set at 20mph.

Implications

The responses above would appear to indicate that the majority of London’s local councils simply do not take the needs and safety of cyclists seriously. In some areas of the city, over half of morning commutes are now conducted on a bicycle, however safe cycleways only constitute 1.63% of the road surface is the highest performing borough.

The average person would apply the logic that with an increasing number of the population of London using the bicycle as their transport of choice, and given that the number of cycling deaths and serious injuries are increasing whilst the same rates for other road users are declining dramatically, further spending on safe cycleway provision must be advanced without haste. However, less than 10% of local authorities in London are intending to make any progress on this during the upcoming financial year.

Without such spending, it remains only a matter of time until the next cycling death. Deaths that will be the blood on the hands of those running London’s local authorities. At the time of writing, London has already witnessed 2 deaths since the new year. How many more deaths and serious injuries will the borough councils allow to happen to their residents?

Notes

Waltham Forest Borough Council were the only authority to respond to the request stating that, whilst they hold the information, they will not be providing it as they believe it would cost them more than the £450 statutory limit. An internal review of this decision has been requested.

Southwark Borough Council responded to the request, but for questions 1-6 stated that they did not record the necessary information to be able to answer the questions. For question 7, regarding 20mph limits, the response from the council was that we could gather the information from their website and put it together ourselves. With exception to Croydon, Southwark were the only council to claim not to know how much money they had spent on safe cycling infrastructure since the last local elections.

Harrow Borough Council attempted to send a response to the request, however the file format would not open on any computer. A different format was requested in February 2014, however no response or acknowledgement to this request has been received at the time of writing.

Newham Borough Council sent a reply near to the deadline stating that they would be late delivering the results. They are the only council that has not replied at the time of writing to send such a notification.

Aside from the above-mentioned councils, responses are still be waited for from Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Council and Kingston-upon-Thames Borough Council. No contact has been received from either council either explaining their delay or when a response can be expected.


The questions posed through the Freedom of Information act and the answers received are in the appendix: click HERE.

The press release associated with this report is HERE.

Information about the #WallOfDeath protest organised to present this report and its conclusions on 2 April 2014 is HERE.

References and Resources

A collection of evidence, references, resources and other things related to campaigning for a safer environment to travel about in.


Government:

Reports, Parliament

Department for Transport


Campaigns:

National

Regional and Local


How The Best Do It:


This & That:

  • Knowledge Base — Cycling Embassy of Great Britain
  • RoSPA — The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
  • Road Safety GB — represents local authority road safety teams
  • EuroRAP — European road assessment programme
  • Sustrans — a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment
  • Road Danger Reduction Forum — safer roads for all
  • Road Safety Analysis — social enterprise, not-for-profit company; aka MAST Online
  • CycleHelmets — evidence about effectiveness of bicycle helmets
  • PACTS — Parliamentary advisory council for transport safety
  • Phil Jones Associates — transport planning consultants, key member of team that created ‘Manual for Streets’

Consultation Response – London Lorry Control

d1sideguardThe campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists has submitted the response below to the consultation by London Councils about the London Lorry Control scheme. You can read about the consultation HERE.


“While we welcome improved mirrors and mandatory side bars, in light of the significant danger posed by lorries to vulnerable road users more needs to be done.

It is not acceptable that lorries with ANY blind spots are driven around the streets of London – this will inevitably lead to road deaths.

Therefore we are calling for blind spots to be completely eliminated by the mandatory use of CCTV cameras, in addition to mandatory ‘turning left’ audio warnings.

Lorry drivers only be able to fulfil their responsibility to drive safely if they can see where their back wheels are going. Audio warnings would enable cyclists to know when to give lorries space and also enable them to do their bit to avoid potential accidents.”

Letter – TfL, Cycling Commissioner January 2014 Agreements Follow-up

(this letter is referenced in Stop Killing Cyclists’ press release HERE)

22nd January 2014

To:  Mr Andrew Gilligan (Cycling Commissioner and Mr Leon Daniels (CEO Transport for London)

c/o Palestra Building
Blackfriars Road
London

From: Donnachadh McCarthy & Stephen Routley
Co-founders Stop Killing Cyclists

 

Dear Mr. Gilligan and Mr. Daniels,

Re:   Meeting with Stop Killing Cyclists on 21st January 2014

 

Thank you for the time you spent with us for yesterday’s discussion – it was much appreciated.

We collectively thought it was a forthright and constructive exchange.

We appreciate that you did not have much time to review the Briefing Paper (Attachment 1) we sent you prior to the meeting and we were pleased with your engaged response.  Regarding the Stop Killing Cyclists List of Demands  we presented to Mr. Daniels on 29 November 2013 (also found in Attachment 1), we were pleased with your agreement to act on the following:

 

Cyclist & Pedestrian Representation on TfL Board

Andrew agreed to ask Mayor of London to include cyclist and pedestrian representatives on the TfL Board

 

The Boroughs and Cycling

Andrew agreed to consider the potential for an annual survey of cycling provision in each of London’s 32 Boroughs. This would facilitate an objective comparison of cycling provision in each Borough and provide a useful information course for safety campaigners in the individual boroughs.

Stop Killing Cyclists undertake to consult with our 1,600 members and submit some suggested criteria in time for the next meeting.

 

Oxford St and Crossrail

Leon agreed to include provision for cycling in the terms of reference for the study being conducted to consider changes in that street’s layout and function as a result of Crossrail’s opening in 2018.

TfL to ensure that any terms of reference for this consultant will consult with cycling and pedestrian groups as part of this study, to ensure that its consultations on the option of closing Oxford Street  to vehicular traffic includes the potential for making Oxford Street a pedestrian/cycling major hub.

We would welcome if TfL could seek to provide a categoric response over which agency – it or Westminster Council- serves as the primary legal highway authority for Oxford Street, taking into account the powers vested in the Transport Management Act 2004 which gave TfL powers (a) to stop the Westminster City Council from exercising powers in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Highways Act 1980 and (b) the Secretary of State for Transport powers to designate a network of Strategic Roads in London which he exercised and included Haymarket, Oxford Street, Piccadilly, Regent Street and Strand.

 

New Planning Applications along Cycle Superhighway Routes

Andrew agreed that a mechanism was needed to ensure any planning applications (in addition to the major projects that are already referred to the Mayor’s Office) that are submitted along the routes of the Cycle Superhighway, do not negatively impact on current or future designated superhighways.

Ideally any planning applications along the routes would need to be referred automatically by the Boroughs to the Mayor to comment on whether they provided adequate space for the superhighways.

Stop Killing Cyclists agreed to submit such a proposal to the consultation on the new London Plan. But we would also welcome the Cycling Commissioner considering if any action can be urgently undertaken in the meantime to ensure more disastrous decisions are not taken by the boroughs along the Superhighway routes.

 

Junctions along Superhighways

Stop Killing Cyclists raised the important issue of how junctions along the routes of the superhighways are dealt with. We believe there appears to be very little thought currently given to the safe entry and exits from the blue lanes. We would welcome a response to how this can be remedied urgently for the already installed and planned Superhighways at the follow-up meeting.

 

Surveys

Andrew referred to the surveys carried out into Londoners attitudes to cycling.  SKC seeks to represent the interests also of the large percentage of Londoners who wish to cycle but are currently too frightened to do so.

We would welcome future surveys to ask how many people would like to cycle regularly if a safe cycle lane network was installed and other such questions asking what would be the key actions that would encourage them to cycle regularly or allow their children to cycle.

 

Training Provision on Dutch Standards for the Boroughs

SKC suggested that the Boroughs be offered pro-actively by TfL, training schemes for their traffic engineers/planners/lead councillors in Go Dutch Standards and philosophy which puts the expected actions of a range of road-users (from good to bad) at the heart of the design process.

We would welcome a response to this suggestion at the next meeting.
Follow Up Meeting / Cycle Planning Disasters Tour

We will send a separate invite to our Cycle Planning Disasters Tour on the 8th February.

Both AG and LD agreed to a follow up meeting to discuss the Stop Killing Cyclists Demands that were not covered at the meeting.

We are grateful for your willingness to have a results-focussed dialogue with Stop Killing Cyclists.

Please liaise with Donnachadh to agree a date.
We look forward to our next meeting within two months.

 

Yours sincerely,
Donnachadh McCarthy
Stephen Routley

Co-founders Stop Killing Cyclists

CC:  Will Nickell, Betty Farnum, Tom Kearney (Stop Killing Cyclists), Stop Killing Cyclists Membership List

Briefing Paper – Meeting with TfL and Cycling Commissioner

(this paper referenced in Stop Killing Cyclists’ press release HERE)

21 January 2014

Briefing Paper for Stop Killing Cyclists Meeting with Transport for London’s CEO Leon Daniels and the London Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan.

Cycling is major positive contributor to London’s quality of life.

It enables people who cycle to be fitter and healthier.

It reduces the toxic pollutants contributing to 4,000 Londoners deaths per year.

It reduces road and public transport congestion. Every car-driver who chooses to cycle to work is a car off the road and every bus/tube passenger who cycles frees up a space for others.

It is one of the most cost efficient ways to reduce central London’s carbon emissions.

It eliminates transport poverty for thousands of low-waged workers who cycle to work.

Cycling is already making an enormous positive contribution to London’s economy.

It is one of the healthiest and most environmentally sustainable transport modes. It enables us to travel the kind of distances that allow us to reach most destinations within a city.

Cycling is economically sustainable with research indicating phenomenal payback for investments in cycling infrastructure when compared to investments in roads and high-speed rail with paybacks ranging from £9-£20 per pound invested.

Cycling investment has a payback period of 1-3 years, compared to over 20 years for road schemes.

Transport Poverty

The cost of cycling is low and if it was perceived to be a safe mode of transport, it would make a major contribution to reducing transport poverty for hundreds of thousands of Londoners, due to the very high cost of public transport in the city.

For someone earning the current national minimum wage of £12, 62, living in zone 4, the cost of a zone 1-4 travel card is £2,136 per year (if you pay annually, which most people can’t afford to do).

That consumes a staggering 17% of their wages on transport alone and tips them into official transport poverty.

Rent for a small studio flat (excluding bills) is likely to be £150 per week, which is £7,800 per year.
Transport + rent = £9,936 – or 79% of total annual income.

That leaves less than £51 per week for bills, food, clothing etc.

Removing the transport cost by spending a one-off payment of £100 on a bike would give such a minimum wage earner an extra £40 per week, giving an approximate £90 per week for bills and food instead.

 

Reducing Congestion

As bikes take up far less road space than cars they are a major solution to London’s traffic congestion problems.

Congestion is estimated to cost London around £2bn every year (GLA, 2011).
Cycling having zero emissions is also a major solution to reducing the estimated 4,000 excess deaths are attributed to pollution in London each year (Miller, 2010).

In London, cycling and walking have been side-lined due to the excessive focus on motorised transport.

London does not feature in any of the lists of the world’s most liveable cities (Walker, 2013), in large part due to the hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists. It is an ancient city not designed for the motor-car but which has had a car-culture jammed into it.

While huge amounts of money are being poured into projects like Crossrail and upgrading the Underground network, investment towards making walking and cycling safe and enjoyable are tiny in comparison.

The previous increase in the cycling modal share has stalled in the last two year and is still tiny when compared to many other European cities.

 

Fairness and Equality

The profile of people cycling in London is not representative of the general population: women, the elderly, children, and minorities are all under-represented.

According to the report “Understanding Walking and Cycling”, due to lack of infrastructure investment, risk perception and convenience (Pooley et al., 2011), all three of which can be tackled by addressing the demands below.

 

London Transport’s Pyramid of Death

Despite the advantages cycling brings to London, Stop Killing Cyclists and Stop The Killing are alarmed at the level of death and disease that Transport for London and the Borough’s transport policies are imposing on Londoners.

The staggering statistics demonstrate that these bodies as currently constituted and run are not fit for purpose. Since 2008 – under current Mayor and Borough leaders:

  • Over 90 cyclists killed.
  • Over 420 pedestrians killed.
  • Over 3,600 cyclists seriously injured.
  • Over 15,000 pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured.
  • Over 24,000 deaths from lung and other transport pollution caused diseases.
  • Over 300,000 people died globally from CO2 emissions with transport emissions.
  • Over 2,000,000 Londoners suffering from obesity and lack of fitness leading to a range of related diseases, which could be radically reduced if they felt London’s roads, were safe to cycle on.

Transport contributes 20% of climate crisis emissions, with millions more predicted to die as forecasts for the rise in global temperatures soar to between 3-6C0. 

The rate of cycling deaths or serious injuries on London’s roads has increased since 2010, according to TfL figures.

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured per million journeys was 2.37 in 2010, but rose to 3.17 by 2012, a rise of 33%!

 

Stop Killing Cyclists Demands:

The following are the demands made by the campaign group “Stop Killing Cyclists”. All of them are realistically achievable with the right leadership from TfL and the Boroughs, as
examples of each of them being implemented can be found around the world.

Their purpose is to enable TfL to maximise the enormous positive contribution cycling can make to London and to replace the current shocking TfL Pyramid of Death with a Zero KSI* Vision as the Mayor of New York as just adopted. (*Killed and Seriously Injured).

1) We want 10% of TfL budget spent per year on cycling until such time as we have a safe network completed. (£600 million/year).

The Dutch spend £24 per person per year on cycling infrastructure.

TfL currently spend approximately £82 million per year, which equates to £9.90 per person. The ten year cycling plan announced a budget of £913 million, which due to London’s rapidly increasing population means that spending per person will basically remain frozen.

If we spent at Dutch levels per person, the expenditure would be £200 million but the Dutch already have been investing in a safety infrastructure since the 1970s.

Thus to deliver Dutch standards across the TfL and Borough networks, investment needs to be at least triple their current budget or 10% of TfL budget.

The annual capital expenditure on cycling which is less than £82 million can be seen for the derisory amount that it is when compared to the £500 million Bank Tube station refurbishment or the equivalent of 0.5% of the £16,000 million single Crossrail project cost.

 

2) Cycling Organisations need 2 formal Board Members on TfL Board.

The current TfL Board composition is not fit for purpose.

The active participation of cycling and pedestrian organisation representatives in TfL board meetings would help ensure that cycling/pedestrian issues become a priority in decision-making.  More informed decisions will be possible with regards to projects ranging from train station upgrades through to roadwork management, keeping cycle provision in mind at all stages.

Pedestrians likewise deserve representation.

Our analysis is that the current board composition is:

5 bankers/big business, 2 taxi reps, 2 aviation industry, 1 HGV, 3 Conservative Politicians, 1 trade unionist and 1 disabled person.

 

3) We need ALL Boroughs to be spending at least 10% of their Mayoral approved transport budgets spent on cycling infrastructure.

Many boroughs are actively blocking progress on safer cycling despite warm words expressed in policy and statements.

Southwark Council for example has allocated £Zero to new segregated cycle lanes in its current 3 year transport budget. Lambeth Council likewise spent Zero on segregated cycle lanes in the last 4 years.

Their planning departments are often designing in new dangerous junctions and refusing to grab the opportunities for safer cycling infrastructure which new developments provide.

The failure of TfL to actively intervene in planning applications along the proposed Superhighways means that once in a century opportunities are being lost.

 

4) All Borough and TfL Transport Heads to be qualified to deliver Dutch style “Sustainable Safety” or be replaced.

The Dutch have adopted five principles of “sustainable safety” which are designed to prevent crashes, or at the very least, prevent serious injury in those that do occur. This proactive approach takes into account the physical vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as the cognitive capabilities and limitations that so often contribute toward crashes (SWOV, 2012). While some principles are already incorporated into UK road design, such as the predictability of road design, other principles are not currently accommodated for. Thus, adopting these principles could be an important step in making cycling (and walking) both safer and more appealing, thereby increasing their modal share. Table 1, reproduced from a SWOV factsheet, lists the five principles of “sustainable safety”; more information on the subject can be obtained by reading the relevant document in the reference list.

Sustainable Safety Principle Description
Functionality of roads Mono-functionality of roads as either through-roads, distributor roads, or access roads in a hierarchically structured road network
Homogeneity of mass and/or speed and direction Equality of speed, direction, and mass at moderate and high speeds
Predictability of road course and road user behaviour by a recognizable road design Road environment and road user behaviour that support road user expectations through consistency and continuity of road design
Forgivingness of the environment and of road users Injury limitation through a forgiving road environment and anticipation of road user behaviour
State awareness by the road user Ability to assess one’s capacity to handle the driving task

Table 1. The five principles of sustainable safety

Southwark’s Head of Transport has publicly and in policy terms opposed segregated cycle lanes and called for the use of cyclists to slow traffic instead!

Westminster’s Head of Transport is equally failing to support new segregated cycle lanes.

The City of London is opposed to segregated cycle-lanes.

 

TfL needs to call for an urgent cycling summit between all the Heads of Borough Transport Departments and the cycling bodies.

 

5) ALL dangerous junctions need to be redesigned to Dutch standards ASAP.

For signalised junctions, this includes the provision of separate signals for bicycles (on the same stage as pedestrians if in parallel), kerb protected left-hand-turns as well as the provision of segregated paths on busy roads that allow the safe bypassing of T-junctions and allowing left-on-red without ever interacting with other vehicles, thus reducing travel times as an added benefit.

There are thousands of dangerous junctions in London whose design has never taken cycle safety into account. The Mayor’s programme of dealing with just tiny 38 of the most dangerous junctions is woefully inadequate.

6) Make Oxford Street a pedestrian/cycling only street

Oxford Street is Europe’s ‘busiest shopping street’ (Daily Telegraph, 2 August 2010), yet is also the most dangerous in the London in terms of collisions (35 times higher than the average London Street according to the GLA’s “Streets Ahead” Report) resulting in, since April 2010, an average of over four vehicle-pedestrian reported collisions per month, around two of which involve buses, and a pedestrian is seriously injured about every month-and-a-half.

Since April 2010, buses have been involved in sixty percent of the collisions resulting serious injury on Oxford Street.

Other cities around the world, from New York to Paris, have been converting busy pedestrian/traffic areas into pedestrian-only zones; for example, Times Square has already been partially pedestrianized, with further improvements being started (CBS, 2013). This pedestrianizing of the area has already proved hugely popular, with increased store sales being reported (New York Times).

 

7) All London streets to be 20mph

TfL should immediately introduce 20 mph speed limit for its road network and for all its contracted buses on all Borough road networks.

It should also work with the 32 Boroughs to introduce a consistent 20mph speed limit across London asap.

TfL also needs to lobby ACPO for enforcement of 20 mph speed limits.

Impact speed vs Pedestrians

8) Require Compulsory Cycle Awareness training for all truck/bus companies operating in London

This will ensure raised awareness of bicycles and their vulnerability to drivers of HGVs and buses, especially during the interim period while better infrastructure is being constructed.

 

9) Increase safety for cyclists by allowing filtered left-hand-turns (i.e. changing the junctions to “Yield Right of Way” designation for cyclists, to become standard design at junctions, with top priority for pedestrians

This measure would reduce the incidence of collisions with motorised traffic and resultant fatalities.

 

10) End TfL’s disastrous policy of prioritising smooth flow and speed of traffic and instead adopt policy of placing safety of vulnerable road users – cyclists, pedestrians and children at the top of your transport hierarchy.

Given the huge benefits of walking and cycling in terms of reducing obesity, lessening air pollution, improving mental health, increasing social equality, reducing congestion, and even improving sales for local businesses that lie along cycle routes, the idea of continuing a traffic-engineering based approach that focuses solely on maximising hourly PCUs through an intersection, and reducing travel time for motorists, is akin to trying to put out a fire with petrol.

Priorities must be stated, and goals must be set – a transport department in a city that has its priorities focussed on the movement of motor traffic, rather than the movement of people, is one that is in dereliction of duty in adequately performing its role. The focus of enabling mobility in a city must be on active and public transport. While the latter has been achieved well in London, the former is sorely lacking.

Thus, the policy of smoothing the flow and increasing speed of traffic, which comes at the expense of those choosing to use active travel, is one that should be dropped immediately.

11) Where provision for traffic and space for safe walking and cycling are in conflict, TfL must change its current lethal policy to one of prioritising vulnerable road users

As stated above, cities are, above all, places for people. Therefore, for a city to be healthy in all respects, it must focus on the wellbeing of people. Making streets safe and friendly for pedestrians and cyclists is good for business and tourism and helps promote an atmosphere of socialising and easy mobility rather than one of fear and negative emotions where people do not want to spend time (Mehta, 2013).

 

12) Ban on any vehicles whose drivers cannot see adjacent road-users. Children, pensioners and inexperienced adults should not be forced to share space with HGVs.

There are two very good reasons for this statement, as well as some proven steps to prevent such interaction from occurring. The main concern is that the sharing of road space between HGVs, buses, and cyclists results in negative impacts upon both actual and perceived safety. This can be seen in London, where the rate of cycle deaths (2.2 deaths per 100 million km cycled) greatly exceeds that of the national rate in the Netherlands (1.1 deaths per 100 million km) or Germany (1.6 deaths per 100 million km) (Department of Transport UK, Buehler and Pucher, 2012).

London has the highest KSI rates (70/100 million km cycled) in the country for cyclists, with it being 35% higher than the South-West. (UK Department of Transport).

Perceived safety is very important in getting people onto bikes. Perceived risk associated with cycling on busy roads was one of the main reasons given in the UK for not using one’s bike more often (Pooley et al., 2011). Furthermore, it is exactly the groups mentioned – children, the elderly, as well as women – who are most risk averse, and this risk aversion is likely the main reason for the under-representation of these groups cycling in London (Steinbach et al., 2011; Garrard, Rose, and Lo, 2008).

HGVs and Buses are responsible for 20% percent of deaths and 25 percent of serious injuries to cyclists in London each year (RoSPA 2013).

The use of side detection technologies (cameras, radar) in the blind spot of large vehicles must become compulsory.  We need also to reduce the numbers of HGVs through the use of freight distribution centres and use of cycle logistics and seeking way to reduce unnecessary transport e.g. returning waste transport to barges. It is crucial to crack down on the shocking levels of trucks being driven illegally or in an illegally dangerous condition on London’s streets. A recent Metropolitan Police action found over 70% of trucks stopped to be breaking the safety laws. The estimated total figure is about 30%. This urgently needs to be prioritised with a target of 99% found to be compliant with existing safety laws.

 

13) We need a FULL, integrated, safely designed, segregated cycle network in London within 5 years.

A segregated cycle network alongside major or busy roads, combined with filtered permeability on minor roads, would go a long way in increasing cycle accessibility to those currently excluded in London. It would increase both actual and perceived safety, thus eliminating one of the biggest barriers to cycling in London. This network should be integrated with public transport, and provide ample cycle parking, a combination that Pucher, Dill, and Handy (2010) say is key to ensuring the success of city cycling.

The most useful measure of all would be the implementation of Dutch quality segregated cycle paths, along with separate or advance staging for cycle traffic on these paths. While separate bicycle stage signals will require time at junctions with high saturation flows, increased cycle mode share and reduced car use would compensate for this over time.


References

Dutch Cycling Expenditure: click HERE (Dutch)

British Cycling Economy: click HERE

Buehler, R. and Pucher, J., 2012. International Overview: Cycling Trends in Western Europe, North America, and Australia. In: Pucher, J. and Buhler, R. eds., 2012. City Cycling. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

CBS, 2013. Bloomberg Unveils Redesign Of Times Square Pedestrian Plaza. [online] 23 December.

CROW, 2007. Design manual for bicycle traffic. Ede, The Netherlands: CROW.

Garrard, J., Rose, G. and Lo, S.K., 2008. Promoting transportation cycling for women: The role of bicycle infrastructure. Preventative Medicine, (46) pp. 55-59.

Greater London Authority (GLA), 2011. The Future of Road Congestion in London. [pdf]

Mehta, V., 2013. The Street. New York, NY: Routledge.

Miller, 2010. Report on estimation of mortality impacts of particulate air pollution in London. [pdf] Institute of Occupational Medicine.

 

Pooley, C. et al, 2011. Understanding walking and cycling: summary of key findings and recommendations, [online]

Pucher, J., Dill, J. and Handy, S., 2010. Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increase bicycling: An international review. Preventative Medicine, (50) pp. S106-S125.

Steinbach, R., Green, J., Datta, J. and Edwards, P., 2011. Cycling and the city: A case study of how gendered, ethnic, and class identities can shape healthy transport choices. Social Science & Medicine, (72) pp. 1123-1130.

SWOV, 2012.  SWOV Fact sheet – Background of the five Sustainable Safety principles. [pdf]

Speed/Fatality Graph:  http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/pssp/background/psafety.cfm

Walker, P., 2013. London: no city for cyclists. Guardian.co.uk Bike blog, [blog] 3 December.

 

— Drafted by David Hicks, Tom Kearney, Donnachadh McCarthy and Will Nickells. 

Coverage of pavement cycling guidance

Police cycling on pavement in Fleet, Hampshire
In its first major campaign success, the Stop Killing Cyclists group welcomed the re-issuing of Ministerial Guidance on Pavement Cycling by the Minister for Cycling Robert Goodwill MP, in response to representations made by the campaign to the Minister for Transport.

STOP KILLING CYCLISTS

POLICE RESPONSE

NEWSPAPERS – Nationals

NEWSPAPERS – Regionals

TELEVISION

ITV London (15 January 2014): Ministerial guidance on cyclists using pavements (news clip video)

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Pavement cycling guidance

Police cycling on pavement in Fleet, Hampshire
UPDATE: for coverage in the media of this, please click HERE.

The Minister for Cycling Robert Goodwill MP, in response to representations made by the campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists to the Minister for Transport, stated in a letter:

Robert Goodwill MP
Robert Goodwill MP

“I agree that the police should be using discretion in enforcing this law and would support Paul Boetang’s original guidance.”

Mr Goodwill continued,

“You may wish to write to Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, to bring this matter to his attention too.”

The original Ministerial Guidance issued by Paul Boateng stated:

“The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.

“Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

The Stop Killing Cyclists campaign group followed-up on Mr Goodwill’s suggestion and sent a letter to Sir Hugh Orde of the ACPO.

ACPO logoOn 17 January 2014, the ACPO stated that it had sent the guidance to all local police forces; National Policing Lead for Cycling Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom  said:

“We welcome the re-issued guidance from the Minister for Cycling in respect of cycling on the pavement and have re-circulated this to all local forces.”

He continued,

“The issue of cycling on the pavement, as in other areas of law enforcement, varies according to local circumstances. The ministerial guidance supports the importance of police discretion in taking a reasonable and proportionate approach, with safety being a guiding principle.

London’s roads present unique challenges, not least of which is the sheer number of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who use them, therefore their approach may vary from other areas of the country.”

The news of the re-issued guidance was covered in the media – you can read about that on our dedicated page:

Campaigning

Here are some of the campaigning groups and individuals working towards the same goal of reducing (eliminating!) the conflict on the roads that leads to many thousands of people being killed or seriously injured.

 STOP KILLING CYCLISTS - Rory Jackson photo with vertical banner Stop Killing Cyclists (“radical and peaceful”)
RoadPeace logo RoadPeace (national charity for road crash victims)
Space for Cycling Space For Cycling (national; also see London-focused LCC space4cycling)
 The bus stops here - safer oxford street for everyone The Bus Stops Here: A Safer Oxford Street for Everyone
Brake charity logo Brake – the road safety charity

 

Thanks

All that we do is based on volunteering and donations. We thank everyone for their help in support of Stop the Killing and Stop Killing Cyclists. Hopefully you have already been told by others in the group just how much we appreciate your donation of time, experience, supplies, equipment, positive encouragement, and whatever else you bring to the table. Truly: Thank you.