This week marks a year since Transport for London launched Vision Zero, an ambitious plan to eliminate all fatal and serious injuries across the Capital’s transport network by 2041.
The anniversary is an opportunity to reaffirm our support for this important target. Road safety is a major priority for the City of London Corporation and we firmly believe that one casualty is one too many.
As someone who cycles regularly, I have witnessed first-hand the great progress that has been made in ensuring our streets are safer and more accessible for residents, workers and visitors.
Improvements have included building segregated cycle lanes, cycle superhighways and quietway routes, as well as the reconfiguration of dangerous junctions. The Holborn Circus Area Enhancement project saw crashes involving people cycling reduced by 91%
Meanwhile, the recently transformed Aldgate Square is now home to one of the largest public spaces in the Square Mile, where new cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, drinking fountains, and a new pavilion replaced a traffic-congested 1960s gyratory. And, of course, the safety scheme at the iconic Bank Junction has now become a permanent fixture.
Our commitment to Vision Zero was reflected by our second Road Danger Reduction plan being approved last year and the adoption of our Transport Strategy in May this year. These seek to make our streets safer for everyone in the City, including residents, by reducing road risks at their source.
This is vital as the City continues to grow. The arrival of Crossrail and increased Tube line capacity will result in a considerable increase in people walking, in particular on key routes and junctions.
TfL data reveals that 90% of all journeys made on the City’s streets are partially or entirely walked. The City Corporation’s monitoring also shows that cycling has increased almost three fold since 1999, while the number of vehicles using the Square Mile’s streets has halved in the last 20 years. This shift towards more active and healthy forms of transport is vital when it comes to improving air quality across the Capital.
Our Road Danger Reduction plan and Transport Strategy outline ambitious actions to safely accommodate the rising numbers of those wanting to walk and cycle in the Square Mile. Reducing speed is key to ensuring that people walking and cycling can safely share the streets with vehicles. That is why the Square Mile is set to become the first area in the UK with a 15mph speed limit, subject to government approval.
We are also working with the City of London Police, businesses and other partners through our Active City Network to raise awareness and encourage better behaviour.
As a world-renowned business and cultural hub, we want the City to lead the way when it comes to safe travel in London. It should be a joy to navigate these historic streets, and our detailed plans will help to realise this vision.