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Chris Boardman backs mayoral hopeful Christian Wolmar's Vision Zero for London road deaths

Transport commentator seeking Labour nomination sets out his policy for slashing capital's road casualties...

Chris Boardman has given his backing to prospective London mayoral candidate Christian Wolmar’s ‘Vision Zero’ which aims to eliminate road deaths in the capital.

Wolmar, one of the UK’s leading transport commentators, is seeking the Labour Party nomination for the next mayoral elections in 2016, but faces competition from a trio of MPs – Diane Abbott and former ministers Dame Tessa Jowell, and David Lammy.

In his Vision Zero policy paper launched today, he called for “a radical new approach to the issue” of road safety in London.

He said that while there was a downward trend in road casualties, the number of people killed on the city’s roads – 132 in 2013 – “is still far too high and there is still a casual acceptance that this is the price that must be paid for Londoners’ mobility.”

The three key features of his proposals are:

A 20mph zone across the capital

A freight strategy to reduce the number of lorries on London’s streets and

An accident investigation body for road deaths.

The policy is based on the Vision Zero initiative introduced in Sweden in the mid-1990s, with the concept also embraced last year by Bill De Blasio, Mayor of New York City, where it has already been credited with cutting road casualties.

Former world and Olympic champion Boardman, who is now policy adviser to British Cycling, is supporting Wolmar’s bid to become Labour’s mayoral candidate.

He said: “Lowering the speed limit to 20mph is already working well in some London boroughs and it would be great to see this rolled out across the capital.

“British Cycling also supports the idea of restricting large lorries during peak hours, including ensuring that all HGVs are fitted with the latest safety equipment.”

He added: “A body to investigate deaths on the roads, including making specific recommendations on improvements to infrastructure, would be a welcome move.

“A similar approach by the rail industry has been extremely effective in recent years.”

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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