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City of London unveils "road etiquette principles"

Corporation's plan to help reduce road deaths and injuries comes as Road Safety Week gets under way...

A set of four new “road etiquette principles” have been drawn up by the City of London Corporation to try and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on the streets of the Square Mile.

According to the City of London Corporation, from 2012-14 there were 261 KSI collisions, 11 of them fatal, on the streets within its boundaries.

In almost two thirds of those cases, failure to look properly or careless, reckless or hurried behaviour were contributing factors.

The four “road etiquette principles people are being asked to follow are:

Look around – keep your eyes open and focus on what’s around you.

Be aware – the City of London’s a busy place, so always expect the unexpected.

Be considerate – remember other road users are people too.

Less haste – take an extra second to think about what you’re doing and any potential hazards.

Victoria Lebrec, who lost a leg following a crash involving a skip lorry in Clerkenwell in 2015, gave her support to the initiative, saying: “It is easy to think 'that would never happen to me’, but all it takes is for someone to make one mistake – be they a cyclist, a pedestrian or a driver – and a life can be taken. 

“I certainly think the roads would be safer if everyone followed the new road etiquette principles.

“The City of London is home to some of the busiest roads in the country and with that comes a responsibility for all of us to travel considerately and safely.”

Alison Gowman, who represents the City of London Corporation on the London Road Safety Council and is chair of the Active City Network, commented: "The City of London is home to over 480,000 workers and 9,000 residents, one of London’s busiest areas, yet the numbers of those killed or seriously injured in the Square Mile are among the lowest in the capital.

“This is in part due to a dedicated Road Danger Reduction team, a City-wide 20-mile an hour speed limit, free online resources, workshops and Dr Bike clinics, as well as safety schemes such as at Bank junction and the Aldgate Gyratory for our road users.

“But we can always do more,” she continued.

“The City Corporation continues to tirelessly campaign for even safer streets because the effect of a collision reverberates around a community.

“Road safety is everybody’s responsibility. These four principles are easy for all road users to keep in mind, and so we appeal to the public to look around, be aware, be considerate and act with less haste.”

The launch of the initiative coincides with the start of National Road Safety Week today, which will also see City of London Police target speeding drivers and hold a close pass operation in partnership with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police.

The latter operation will take place in the Old Street and Shoreditch area, which officers say is a particularly high-risk location for serious injuries to cyclists and pedestrians.

Sergeant Guy Eaton of City of London Police said: *“The City of London is a unique area. The roads are extremely busy with all types of vehicle along with a large number of pedestrians.

“During Road Safety Week we will be taking robust action against speeding drivers by means of prosecution. They will also be reminded of the risks associated with speeding – both to themselves and to other road users.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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MarsFlyer | 6 years ago

The City of London has lead the way, with closing Bank Junction between 7am and 7pm. It is now a fantastic experience for cyclists and especially for pedestrians. Although pedestrians can be their own worst enemies - I call them Leadenhall Lemmings and cycle very carefully on those roads where their only concern is rushing from station to office.

I do agree with the comments about construction though, they are well marshalled, but need to have better pedestrian provision.

ClubSmed | 6 years ago
1 like

I think that these sorts of things are great ideas in principle, but the execution of getting these messages to the right people and ensuring they hit home sadly never quite delivers.

50kcommute | 6 years ago
1 like

Oh feck off city of london

ConcordeCX replied to 50kcommute | 6 years ago

50kcommute wrote:

Oh feck off city of london

don't worry, it's moving to Paris and Frankfurt soon, and it'll be just us and the tumbleweed.


burtthebike | 6 years ago
1 like

Assuming that the main target of this initiatiive, a rather flattering word for doing not much, is drivers, how will they disseminate the message?  Leaflets perhaps, handed out to drivers stuck in the traffic jams that they are causing.  I'm really not looking forward to the first report of a cyclist or pedestrian being knocked down by a driver reading one of the leaflets.

Simboid | 6 years ago

What a waste of money! Don’t they know that (against all odds) London still has millions of poor people who will have paid for this? A car in central London is a luxury and should be further restricted. Ever been there and not got black snot? Of course not.

Simon E | 6 years ago

These 'be nice' messages never make any difference. The vast majority of people won't realise that they are the target audience (or have no intention of changing their behaviour to be 'nice').

nniff | 6 years ago

No harm in trying, but not sure that the message will get through to those such as the witless cow who knocked me off my bike recently.   She thought that a driving licence and insurance were unnecessary bureaucratic faff.

alansmurphy | 6 years ago


Look around – keep your eyes open and focus on what’s around you.


Genius! Those driving with closed eyes should be given a stern talking to.


Be aware – the City of London’s a busy place


Really, that's a surprise to many...


Be considerate – remember other road users are people too.


Seriously, they're people, it all looks so  much like Grand Theft Auto


Less haste – take an extra second to think about what you’re doing and any potential hazards.


But no more than a second mind you, don't want to hold up Lord Sugar, Mr Clarkson, MPs etc.

thesaladdays replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago

alansmurphy wrote:

Look around – keep your eyes open and focus on what’s around you.

Genius! Those driving with closed eyes should be given a stern talking to.

Exactly, and I struggle to see what this has to do with etiquette anyway.

jasecd | 6 years ago

However well intentioned this may be I doubt these principles will make the slightest bit of difference - it feels like it's designed to look like they are taking the matter seriously but are actually quite impotent to take meaningful action.

IMO road users who would pay attention to this are the people who already act with courtesy and consideration for others. The mindless cretins who mke the roads miserable will simply ignore this.

Zjtm231 | 6 years ago

The City doesnt give a flying s*it about pedestrian or cyclist saftey.

I have complained several times about construction sites being able to totally close roads (eg Biliter St / Bishopsgate / Goring St)also about construction sites being able to close pavements with no provision for pedestrian or cyclist saftey so pedestrians are forced to cross the road where it isnt safe - most just walk down the road.  Not only that out they also allow construction firms to close half the road (and the pavement)  so that construction can have an easier life at the cost of road safety (eg. One construction site has closed Biliter st completely, half closed Fenchurch Avenue and Fenchurch Street and Gracechurch Church yard)

Currently the City of london highways have given permision for construction to take place on three sides of Lime Street / Leadenhall Street /St Mary Axe.  with half of Leadenhall St being closed for construction deliveries. This is a very busy cross roads during the day and there isnt sufficent space for the pedestrians.


Therefore when some City of London numpty comes up with some complete B*llsh!t set of "be nice to each other" principals it really gets my goat.

hawkinspeter | 6 years ago

Great - instead of actually doing things to avoid road traffic incidents, they've come up with some slogans. Yeah, that'll make a lot of difference.

STiG911 | 6 years ago

'City of London draws up a list of road principles because apparently Driving Tuition, The Highway Code and general Common Sense aren't cutting it'

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