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Sadiq Khan pledges 'Vision Zero' for road casualties in London

Mayor commits to ensuring no-one will be killed or seriously injured in road traffic collision in capital by 2041

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan Begin has pledged a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road traffic casualties in the British capital, with the aim of ensuring that by 2030, no-one will be killed in an incident involving a London bus, and that by 2041 deaths and serious injuries resulting from road traffic collisions in the city will have been totally eradicated.

The pledge, which brings London into line with a growing number of cities worldwide that are committed to reducing the casualty toll on their streets, was unveiled as part of the Mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy, published today and open for consultation until 2 October 2017.

It was outlined in a press release from the Mayor’s office, which said the approach would make London’s streets “safer for all,” adding:

"Minimising road danger is fundamental to the creation of streets where everyone feels safe walking, cycling and using public transport. This radical change to how London approaches road danger will aim for no one to be killed in or by a London bus by 2030, and for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041."

It's a bold vision, and one that aims to build a sharp fall in the number of people killed or seriously injured while using London’s roads in the past decade.

Preliminary figures show that in the year to June 2016, road traffic incidents in London claimed the lives of 128 people and 2,119 people were killed or seriously injured, respectively down39 per cent and 42 per cent on the 2005-09 average.

Whether the Vision Zero target is achievable is another matter. By 2041, it’s possible that all motor vehicles will be autonomous, taking human error out of the equation, and will be sophisticated enough to avoid collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

Preliminary figures show that in the year to June 2016, road traffic incidents in London claimed the lives of 128 people and 2,119 people were killed or seriously injured, respectively down39 per cent and 42 per cent on the 2005-09 average.

Roger Geffen, policy director at the charity Cycling UK, told road.cc: “It’s an admirable ambition, which looks as though it could be on track.

“With a widespread roll out of 20mph limits, protected cycling facilities, measures to remove unsafe lorries from London roads and goals to reduce private motor vehicles, Cycling UK believes it should be possible to achieve.

He added: “It will require however police co-operation to ensure that less traffic doesn’t result in faster traffic. This means capital will need more traffic officers to enforce the law on speed limits, close overtaking of cyclists and mobile phone use at the wheel.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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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