Merton Cycling Campaign says London's Road Safety Audits fail to reveal danger to cyclists

detailed report prepared for Merton Cycling Campaign describes Transport for London's current Road Safety Audit procedures as "diseased" because they're incapable of identifying dangers, including those posed by one of Greater London's worst ever cycle facilties.

"A Review of London’s Road Safety Audit Procedures and the Cyclist with Reference to Martin Way" was written by retired architect and long-time Merton campaigner Hugh Morgan. 

The report was written after a three-year campaign by local campaigners, which involved a complaint to the Local Government Omsbudsman, finally convincing Merton Council to partially remove a road layout on Martin Way (B286), which had put cyclists in serious danger.

The cost to Merton taxpayers of fixing the flawed design was £500,000.

Local campaigners were shocked that the traffic-calming chicanes (see video above), installed by Merton Council in 2007, had passed a Transport for London 'Road Safety Audit'.

LCC's road danger expert Charlie Lloyd said, "The video shows how appalling these cycle 'facilities' were, needlessly pushing cyclists into the path of fast-moving motor traffic.

"When our local campaign group complained the council defended the design, saying that it had passed a 'safety audit' carried out by Transport for London.

"What became clear to everyone, except the council engineers, was that the safety audit process had failed."

The report produced for Merton Cycling Campaign says, "Road Safety Audit procedures used in London underemphasise the safety problems associated with cycling on the carriageway and tend to invite discrimination against cyclists." 

It's now clear that the audit process recommended by Transport for London isn't capable of competently assessing the risks of road layouts for cyclists.

The process appears to be flawed because it's not necessary for auditors to refer to any government or Transport for London guidance on designing roads that are safe for cyclists.

The Merton Cycling Campaign report's recommendations include:

  • Transport for London must immediately revise its Safety Audit procedures
  • Audit guidelines should include a checklist for cyclist safety issues
  • Safety auditors should be informed when a design doesn't follow government standards.

As a result of the debacle on Martin Way, Merton Council has declared its intention to improve its procedures when implementing new road layouts.

Replies

  • By O at 4:21pm 2 December 2011

Great work Merton Cycling Campaign.

It is a real pity that this report is completely inaccurate and just plain wrong - I'm surprised that the LCC with all its members have not got anybody who actually knows what Road Safety Audit is rather than this sorry excuse for a piece of work.

  • By Austen at 11:08pm 2 December 2011

"this report is completely inaccurate and just plain wrong" - please elucidate.

Even the story above gets the description of road safety auidt wrong as you cannot "pass" it. I would suggest that the LCC and if the MCC in particular are claiming responsibility for this report, find someone of suffcient knowledge who knows what a road safety audit is and find out how wrong this report really is.

 

  • By gegi at 9:16pm 4 December 2011
Well something's not quite right when officials can hold up a 'safety audit' in order to excuse such a shambolic design not uncommon all over London. Of course the safest cycle journey is the one that never happens. And Merton have certainly tried to achieve that.
  • By Austen at 9:28pm 4 December 2011

"I would suggest that the LCC and if the MCC in particular are claiming responsibility for this report, find someone of suffcient knowledge who knows what a road safety audit is and find out how wrong this report really is."

 

Would you be that person?  Is that what you're saying?

 

 

  • By Cyklops at 3:16am 5 December 2011

 

Too much emphasis on BLAME and not enough education about wearing bright colours.

DULL red is not a bright colour. A vest is not enough.

My own statistical analysis reveals FE MALE cyclists not wearing BRIGHT COLOURS.

IRRESPONSIBLE helmet manufacturers should make helmets in either WHITE,

flourescent YELLOW or flourescent ORANGE.

Backpack Manufacturers to make backpacks BRIGHT.

COLOUR is the KEY.

BE SEEN by CAR Drivers that are changing CD's, looking at SAT NAVS, texting,

peering through rainy windscreens,

lighting cigarettes, talking to passengers, tuning the radio, eating.

Irresponsible Cycling Campaign Posters featuring Cyclists wearing DARK colours,

have a look for yourself ?

Irresponsible leadership amongst cycling community !

GiantKona, I haven't a clue what you are trying to say. Please express yourself more clearly. Are you defending the design shown in the video, and criticising MCC's report? Or are you defending the audit procedure criticised in MCC's report? On what grounds?

David Arditti

Brent Cyclists co-ordinator

@GiantKona No-one in the article says that safety audits can be 'passed'. The quote from Charlie Lloyd says the safety audit process has failed. That's not the same thing.

As several commenters have pointed out above, you make some serious accusations about errors in the report but offer no facts to back up your opinion.

Frankly, you'll have to do better than that to discredit this meticulously researched piece of work.

 Wouldn't surprise me at all if "GiantKona" is a TFL safety auditor with a Giant chip on his shoulder.....who rides a Kona.

This content was deleted by London Cycling Campaign at 4:36pm 15 October 2012.

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