Seminar: The Future of Pedestrian Road Safety in London

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In 2011, 77 pedestrians were killed and 903 seriously injured on London’s streets. Something needs to be done, and with the mayor consulting on a road safety action plan, our recent seminar on pedestrian safety in the capital was a great chance to discuss the central issues.

Hosted by Valerie Shawcross AM at City Hall, our seminar brought together key stakeholders from communities across the capital with those responsible for the mayor’s road safety action plan.

The panel consisted of Isabel Dedring, deputy mayor for transport, Catherine West, chair of the London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the London Assembly's Transport
Committee and Living Streets chief executive, Tony Armstrong.

It was a really encouraging morning, and it enabled Living Streets to build consensus on what Transport for London and local authorities need to do to reduce road danger in London. Points raised were fed into our consultation response, the full version of which you can read here.

The mayor’s draft road safety action plan was finalised on 31 October. While we welcome its stated aim to reduce road casualties and to improve perceptions of road safety, we believe the draft plan falls short in providing a convincing strategy for achieving the level of road danger reduction that is necessary in London.

Here are our recommendations for a revised road safety action plan

•  Uphold the principle of road danger reduction, which considers the wider impacts of policies on public health and environment, with danger tackled at source.  
•  Focus actions on tackling the underlying causes of road danger rather than the symptoms.
•  Commit to introducing 20mph speed limits on mayoral-controlled streets where people live, work and shop and support, inspire and encourage boroughs to make 20mph the default limit on their streets.
•  Include specific targets with regular milestones to reduce pedestrians killed and seriously injured on London’s streets AND indicators on the perception of road danger since this is the major barrier to increasing walking.
•  Only invest in educational and awareness campaigns that address the source of danger and only when they are linked to enforcement or engineering efforts.
•  Set out a strong vision for  London’s streets and emphasise the need for leadership and prioritisation of road danger reduction (over motor traffic capacity type policies).