Innovative trials and new design standards will improve cycle safety and save dozens of lives across London, according to Transport for London (TfL).
The organisation has completely revised its Cycle Safety Action Plan to include new technology to improve the safety of HGVs and buses, which which is promised to include making bicycles more easily visible and vehicle braking systems more responsive - and a plan to double the number of adult cyclists taking advanced skills training.
TfL has also outlines multimillion pound infrastructure redesigns, making use of public consultation and best practice.
The fully updated London Cycling Design Standards, have been published for public consultation today.
TfL states as one of its top priorities to reduce by 40 per cent the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads by 2020.
Last year 132 people, included 65 pedestrians and 14 cyclists, were killed on London roads.
The Mayor, Boris Johnson, and TfL pledged action to prioritise the safety of the most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, including 32 new proposals on top of the last Cycle Safety Action Plan published in 2010, including:
- Helping to reduce HGV traffic during peak hours by trialling innovative quiet vehicle technology to help expand off-peak delivery. This would remove conflicts between cyclists and lorries during morning and evening rush hours.
- Working with manufacturers to develop better designs for side guards in order to further prevent fatal and serious injuries, as well as delivering the Safer Lorry Scheme this year.
- Carrying out trials of detection equipment on London buses to help drivers be more aware of pedestrians and cyclists near their vehicles, which if successful could be rolled out across London's bus fleet. TfL will also look to trial Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), which would monitor and potentially restrict the top speed of buses.
- Working with the automotive industry to explore how improvements to car design could further protect cyclists, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems, which could help make vehicles stop more quickly, and the introduction of a EuroNCAP safety rating system for cyclists so that car buyers can assess the cycle safety credentials of any new vehicle.
- Working with cycle manufacturers to improve how easy it is to see bicycles by building lights or retro-reflective equipment into bike frames.
- Continuing to develop and deliver the Safer Urban Driving CPC course to help put more than 10,000 freight and fleet drivers a year through essential safety training.
- Doubling the number of adult cyclists receiving advanced skills training by creating a dedicated London Virtual Skills Hub. This will allow online booking of cycle training and advanced safety skills across London to attract more commuter cyclists to take up training.
Andrew Gilligan, The Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner said: “The Mayor is spending hundreds of millions of pounds on better bike infrastructure to cater for the vast growth in cycling on London’s roads.
“This document aims to see that those projects are delivered to higher standards. We do not expect perfection, and the best must not be the enemy of the good. But as the Mayor has said, everything we pay for must be done at least adequately, or not at all.
“At the same time, we know that TfL and City Hall have no monopoly of wisdom. The standards will be consulted on before they become final by the end of the year. We welcome ideas, and we know that many of the ideas which people liked most in the cycle vision were pioneered in the London boroughs.”
In February 2014 the Mayor and TfL published six safety commitments, being:
1. To lead the way in achieving a 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the capital’s roads by 2020 - with a longer term ambition of freeing London’s roads from death and serious injury;
2. To prioritise safety of the most vulnerable groups - pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists - which make up 80 per cent of serious and fatal collisions;
3. To provide substantial funding for road safety, invested in the most effective and innovative schemes;
4. To increase efforts with the police and enforcement agencies in tackling illegal, dangerous and careless road user behaviour that puts people at risk;
5. To campaign for changes in national and EU law to make roads, vehicles and drivers safer;
6. To work in partnership with boroughs and London’s road safety stakeholders to spread best practice and share data and information.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.