The number of cyclists killed on London’s roads fell to its lowest on record in 2021, figures from Transport for London (TfL) show.
The number of people killed while cycling in London in 2021 was down by 40% on the 2005-2009 average, from 17 to 10 people, according to the transport body's annual report.
However, traffic levels have rebounded after the pandemic to their normal figures and this has brought a sharp increase in those seriously injured, which rose by 54%. TfL's annual report said that this was due to the increase in the number of journeys cycled last year, with the most recent figures showing the share of road journeys by bike almost doubling to four percent in the capital.
TfL has a goal, entitled Vision Zero, to eliminate death and serious injury from London’s roads by 2041. However, the 2021 report shows that vulnerable road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, continue to be the most at risk in the capital.
Last year people walking, cycling or riding motorbikes made up 81% of all people killed or seriously injured on the streets of London.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, TfL has been working with other agencies on changes to increase road safety under its Vision Zero strategy. Measures include more than 100 kilometres of new or redeveloped cycle lanes across London, 89 low-traffic neighbourhoods and 322 ‘school streets’ being created.
As of autumn 2021, the report said that 19.4% of Londoners lived within 400 metres of a cycle route. A huge increase of approximately 750,000 people since 2019.
It concluded cars were the biggest threat to cyclists on the roads with cars involved in 64% of all collisions resulting in death or injury, up from 62% in 2019.
The biggest risk to road users is still speeding with half of the fatal collisions in 2021 in London reporting speed as a factor in the incident.
In an attempt to counter this, TfL has been working with the Metropolitan police to increase the level of enforcement. In 2021/2022, the Met enforced 476,685 speeding offences, 199,105 more than in the previous year and an increase of 72 per cent.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said he was fully committed to encouraging a "green recovery" in the city and encouraging more residents to walk and cycle. “Every death and serious injury on our roads is a tragedy and I refuse to believe that they are something we have to accept as inevitable. Our Vision Zero action plan sets out tough measures to help reduce risk and eliminate death and serious injury from London's roads.” Khan said.
“The cost to the capital of a car-led recovery cannot be underestimated, with increased road danger, detrimental health impacts, time wasted stuck in traffic and billions lost to the economy. There is still much more to do to eradicate road deaths and serious injuries from our streets, but I am determined that together we will help make London greener, more sustainable and safer for all.” Khan added.
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