- Travel Safe Priority Areas trialled to combat community concerns in Shoreditch and Camden with high visibility and covert policing
- Work underway to lower the central London speed limit to 20mph as part of wider plans to eradicate death and serious injuries on the transport network by 2041
- Road Safety Week, organised by Brake, aims to get everyone to Step Up For Safe Streets and runs from 18 to 24 November
Transport for London (TfL) and the police are marking Road Safety Week by taking increased action to reduce road danger, building on their plans to eradicate death and serious injuries. They are taking part in targeted high visibility and covert policing patrols on London’s roads, in order to crack down on people driving carelessly, recklessly and illegally, as well as educating all road users.
This is part of TfL’s work with the Metropolitan Police to trial a new initiative, Travel Safe Priority Areas, which is designed to tackle community road safety issues in local areas over a short period of time. Action includes high visibility and covert policing, Community and Junior Roadwatch sessions, where members of the public work with the police to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding, and communicating more information about speeding and road safety.
The trial is currently taking place in Shoreditch and Camden, following engagement with local residents. On Shoreditch Inner Road, measures are in place to tackle a large number of collisions involving motorcycle and moped riders, as well as a higher than average number of people cycling injured at junctions. TfL and the police are also targeting Camden High Road, where there has been an increase in collisions involving people cycling between 2017 and 2018.
Work to reduce road danger includes lowering speed limits to 20mph in central London, with speeds recently lowered on London Road, St George’s Circus, Westminster Bridge Road and Newington Butts in Elephant and Castle. Overall around 9km of roads in the Congestion Charge Zone will have their speed limits lowered by March 2020. Work will be completed overnight to minimise the impact on road users and TfL will use single lane closures, avoiding any roads being fully closed.*
Stuart Reid, Director of Vision Zero at TfL, said: “People are dying on our streets every week from avoidable road collisions and Road Safety Week provides us with an opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of reducing road danger for all. By working closely with the police, lowering speed limits, responding to specific community concerns and more, we hope to save lives.”
Det Supt Andy Cox, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command (RTPC), said: “This is an important week to promote road safety and encourage drivers to not be complacent and think about the consequences that arise from serious collisions that can lead to life changing injuries and fatalities causing devastation to all involved including family and friends. 112 people died on London’s roads last year and working in partnership with TfL, the Met are striving to deliver Vision Zero through sustained education and enforcement.”
Police Sergeant Nina Houghton-Worsfold, from the City of London Police, said: “Protecting all road users is of the upmost importance to the City of London Police and something we focus on day in day out, alongside our partners, to achieve the aims of Vision Zero. Road Safety Week is another opportunity for us to educate road users and pedestrians of the risks to themselves and others associated with irresponsible and dangerous behaviour such as speeding, using mobile phones and disobeying traffic lights and other road signals.”
Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “London’s goal to eradicate road death and serious injury is an example all cities must follow. Road tragedies are preventable, not inevitable, and we should never accept them as a cost of getting around. This Road Safety Week, we are calling on everyone to Step Up for Safe Streets and Community and Junior Roadwatch schemes are shining examples of how, together, we can help make roads safer for everyone.”
TfL’s Safer Junctions scheme, which is making life-saving changes to 73 junctions across the capital, is a key part of the work to reduce road danger. Work has now begun at the Camberwell Green junction, with improvements including wider footways and crossings, resurfacing, and an early release for people cycling at traffic lights at all arms of the junction.
Work is due to begin work on nine further junctions in the coming months. Improvements will be made at Dalston Junction, Kennington Park Road/Braganza Street, East India Dock Road/Canton Street/Birchfield Street, Edgware Road/Harrow Road, Clapham Road/Union Road, Holloway Road, New Kent Road/Harper Road, Britannia Junction and Edgware Road/George Street, as TfL aims to make them safer for everyone.
TfL is also working to remove the most dangerous lorries from London’s roads with the Direct Vision Standard. The world-leading scheme, which was introduced last month, seeks to eliminate dangerous Heavy Goods Vehicle blind spots, HGVs that fail to meet new minimum safety standards will be issued a penalty charge for driving in the capital from October 2020.
In 2018, 112 people were killed and a further 3,954 suffered serious injuries on London’s roads. During 2018, people walking, cycling and riding motorcycles made up around 80 per cent of all people killed on London’s roads, with 91 deaths, which is why TfL will continue to focus efforts on making streets safer for the people most at risk.
Brake’s Road Safety Week is aiming to get everyone to Step Up For Safe Streets and runs from 18 to 24 November.
* Subject to permits.