It has been a horrible week with two pedestrians and three cyclists killed on the Capital’s streets. Road safety is one of the key issues people raise with me when we are discussing priorities for the City of London. Following questions from City workers in the Ward of Cheap I therefore requested a meeting with the City of London Corporation’s Road Safety Team to get an update on actions being taken in the Square Mile.
The City of London Corporation is committed to improving safety for all road users through implementing the City’s Road Danger Reduction Plan. The main aim of the Plan is to reduce the number of the most common causes of road collisions, with a particular focus on reducing the dangers by improving the conditions for walkers, cyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants.
At our meeting the Road Safety team took me through some of their plans for 2017. Key challenge they face is to raise awareness amongst all road users, and where necessary create behavioural change. This is not just about looking at larger vehicles, but at dangerous behaviour by all road users including cyclists and pedestrians. Some people raise concerns that sometimes cyclists for example are driving aggressively. Growing up in the Netherlands cycling is in my blood, but I have myself as pedestrian experienced cyclists (and pedestrians) ignoring red light or driving on pavements. It is important to keep in mind we all have a shared responsibility to keep our roads safe.
The Corporation is working with other partners like TfL and the Mayor of London to promote ‘active travel’ (this includes encouraging walking), and create healthy or safe streets. This includes looking at ‘vulnerable road users’ such as pedestrians.
The new Mayor of London’s Cycling Czar for example told the Evening Standard that he thought pedestrians had been “ignored” by transport planners for too long: “There hasn’t been the same advocacy and campaigning around pedestrian safety in the past – it’s something that has been neglected by politicians and policy making,” he said. But it was good to see through my meeting with the Road Safety Team at the Guildhall that they are actively looking at the safety of all road users.
In addition, the Corporation is also working together with business through the Active City Businesses Network, and is providing free cycle training and advice to commuters. If your business hasn’t engaged with this yet check out the road safety website here.