London Cycling Campaign examines Cycle Safety Action Plan

The grim faced commuter cyclists in the image chosen for the cover of Transport for London's Cycle Safety Action Plan highlights how far we have to go to achieve safe and inviting cycling in London. Riders on the type of false blue lanes condemned by a senior coroner all have chosen to wear helmets in the hope of some protection against the road danger.

The consultation draft was issued last week on the same day as that on the Cycling Design Standards. We have five weeks to analyse and comment on both documents before 25th July.

We will be looking for the "Systems Approach" as outlined in the Safer Streets for London plan issued last year (section 3.4). London Cycling Campaign has always called for casualties to be measured against exposure to risk. How risky is cycling per mile travelled compared to other ways of travel? Without such measurements the benefits of increasing cycling can be mis-represented in casualty data.

Rate based casualty targets for danger reduction.

The failure to set a rate based casualty reduction target can lead to poor understanding of the problems and poor prioritisation of actions to reduce danger. The draft Cycle Safety Action plan does address some of these issues with attempts to compare rates and commitments to better monitoring of outcomes.

London Cycling Campaign will be assessing the 32 actions in the plan for their impact on reducing road danger. For each action we will ask:

  • Does this reduce the source of danger on the roads?
  • Will this action tend to encourage more people to choose a sustainable mode of transport?

We welcome the focus on safer streets in line with the Mayor's "Love London, Go Dutch" commitment. The Action Plan divides the issues into six key areas:

  • Designing safe streets for cycling
  • Safe vehicles on our streets
  • Improving driver standards and awareness of cycling
  • Enforcement and delivery of safe cycling through the criminal justice system
  • Greater communication, skills and training for cyclists
  • Building knowledge and promoting cycling for all.

Charlie Lloyd, LCC road danger reduction campaigner, commented, "We welcome Transport for London's clear commitment to reduce the casualty rate for cyclists in London. Delivering safer streets, however, is a key element requiring urgent action. A far better analysis of the causes of injuries is required and too few of the actions really address sources of danger."

Use the comment space below to add your ideas on how the action plan could be improved.