Vision Zero plan could slow TfL roads to 20mph

More than 3,500 people involved in road accidents on London’s streets were killed or seriously injured in 2017
More than 3,500 people involved in road accidents on London’s streets were killed or seriously injured in 2017

A BOLD ‘Vision Zero’ strategy designed to eliminate fatalities on the transport network through the implementation of 20mph limits across TfL roads has been unveiled by City Hall.

Sadiq Khan unveiled hia ambitious action plan today in an attempt to slash the number of deaths and serious injuries on the Capital’s roads – a figure that stands at 2,000 incidents per year.

Each year around 50 people are seriously injured on City streets, of which two die from their injuries.

Described as “radical” by the Mayor of London’s own office, the approach includes the introduction of lower speed limits on TfL roads within the Congestion Charging Zone, transformation of dangerous junctions, tough safety standards for the design of HGVs and a comprehensive bus safety programme, which includes speed-limiting technology, and a new innovative training course for all drivers.

“I don’t accept that deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads are something we just have to put up with. Every single death or serious injury results in heartache and tragedy for those affected, and their loved ones,” said Mr Khan.

“Our bold and far-reaching plans being announced today are some of most ambitious in the world, and start from the basis that no death or serious injury on London’s roads should be treated as acceptable or inevitable.”

Despite safety trends already moving in the right direction, the strategy has challenging targets to meet across the next two decades.

By 2022, the aim is to reduce the number of tragic incidents on London’s roads by 65%, with no-one being killed on or by a bus by 2030, on the road to Vision Zero in 2041.

London Assembly Member for City & East, Unmesh Desai, described the strategy as a “vital intervention”.

“It is appalling that thousands of Londoners are killed or seriously injured on our roads each year. In our community, we have felt the devastating impact of these tragic incidents.

“The Mayor’s new Vision Zero approach is a vital intervention to protect the most vulnerable road users and significantly raise the bar for vehicle safety standards.

“The Mayor’s strategy recognises the simple fact that road deaths and injuries are entirely preventable.”

Inspector Paul Doyle, of the City of London Police’s transport and highways operations group, praised the announcement as another positive step to ensuring the Square Mile’s 450,000 daily visitors can get around with greater peace of mind.

He added: “We work closely with our partner organisations to educate and encourage all road users to protect themselves and use the roads safely.

“Whilst road fatalities are rare in the City, even one death is one too many. We are a committed member of the Road Danger Reduction Partnership and fully support the pan-London Vision Zero action plan.”

Meanwhile, the City Corporation is preparing to launch its own first long-term transport strategy in 2019, when a consultation will allow the public to help future proof local transportation methods.

Chris Hayward, planning and transportation chairman at the authority, said: “The City is 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 pioneering schemes such as the experiment at Bank junction, but we can always do more and safety continues to be a number one priority.

“While chairing several Future of Freight Forums, I am also committed to engaging with international industry experts on how best to remove unnecessary vehicle from City streets. After all, less congested streets are safer streets.”