CECA Attends TfL ‘Vision Zero’ Summit

CECA was present at a ‘Vision Zero’ summit in London on Tuesday (13 November), which considered a plan put forward by the Mayor of London, TfL, and the Metropolitan Police, to eliminate deaths and serious  injuries on London’s roads.

The ‘Vision Zero’ approach will see a new 20mph speed limit introduced on all TfL roads within the Congestion Charging Zone.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, when launching the plan, said: “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.”

The summit heard presentations from:

  • Victoria LeBrec, of RoadPeace, who set out her own experience of being run over by a lorry, losing a leg, and undergoing a long recuperation process;
  • Gareth Powell, MD for surface transport at TfL, who pointed for the need for mindsets to change, and for the road sector to learn lessons from the rail network in terms of safety;
  • Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor, TfL, who presented on TfL’s ‘Road Danger Reduction’ approach;
  • Dr Matts-Ake Belin from Sweden’s Transport Administration, who set out lessons to be learned from Sweden’s approach to road safety;
  • Commander Kyle Gordon of the Metropolitan Police, who noted that in a typical day there are 600,000 cyclists, 9.5 million car journeys, 75,000 HGV and 8.9 million pedestrian journeys on London’s roads, and that the cost of 131 deaths equates to roughly £200m of public money, in addition to the direct trauma suffered by all involved;
  • and Julie Kite-Laidlaw of the New York City Department for Transport, who spoke strongly in support of partnering advocates in road safety initiatives.

The summit concluded with a panel discussion and the ‘Vision Zero’ action plan can be read here.

It is a bold approach that includes the introduction of lower speed limits on TfL’s road network, the 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.

To get London closer to the Vision Zero ambition, the Mayor has set TfL a number of challenging interim targets:

  • By 2022, the aim is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured 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.
  • At the heart of the Mayor and TfL’s plans is reducing the speed of vehicles on London’s streets, as a key way to reduce road danger.
  • TfL is now proposing to make 20mph the new general speed limit on all TfL roads within the Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ) by 2020, prioritising the part of the capital with a high volume of vulnerable road users including people who walk, cycle or use a motorcycle. 8.9km of new roads within the CCZ will now become 20mph by the end of the Mayoral term to fulfil this ambition.

As part of his plans to improve air quality, tackle congestion and improve Londoners’ health, the Mayor wants to increase the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport to 80% of journeys by 2041, from 63% now.

And the Mayor is investing a record £2.2bn in streets across London to make them safer for walking and cycling, and improve the environment for everyone.

TfL’s ‘Direct Vision Standard’ for Heavy Goods Vehicles will be the first initiative of its kind in the world to categorise HGVs depending on the level of a driver’s direct vision from a cab.

This scheme is due to be introduced in 2020 to improve vehicle safety and increase visibility of vulnerable road users.

HGVs will be given a rating between ‘zero-star’ (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest), with only those vehicles rated ‘three-star’ and above, or which have comprehensive safety systems, able to operate in London from 2024.

Mike Brown, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “This new approach to reducing road danger sees us working in coalition with many partners across the city, including the Metropolitan Police, to enforce new 20mph limits, transform dangerous junctions and raise awareness of the risks on the roads and street network.

“Safety is at the core of this and we are committed to making sure everyone gets home safely every day. The bold actions outlined in the Vision Zero plan will set London on the path to eliminating death and serious injuries on our transport network by 2041.”

If you would like more information on the ‘Vision Zero’ summit contact CECA Southern Director David Allen.