Number of cyclists killed, injured on London roads jumps up

·3 min read
Number of cyclists killed, injured on London roads jumps up

A big increase in the number of cyclists being killed or seriously injured on London roads was revealed on Monday.

The number of cyclist fatalities increased from six to 10 last year, compared with the 2021 calendar year, while the number of serious injuries rose from 862 to 989, a 15 per cent jump.

However the total number of road deaths across Greater London fell from 96 to 75, a 22 per cent reduction and the lowest annual number on record.

The reduction, which contrasts with a seven per cent increase nationally, was largely due to the pandemic lockdowns resulting in fewer journeys. Casualty data has started to increase since most restrictions ended in July last year.

Transport for London said there had been a 54 per cent increase in serious injuries to cyclists, compared with the 2004-9 “baseline” against which progress on road safety is measured.

TfL said the increase in injuries partly reflects the growth in popularity of cycling, with the number of road journeys made by bike almost doubling to four per cent.

But it admitted the increase made it more challenging to achieve Mayor Sadiq Khan’s “Vision Zero” target of eliminating all road deaths in London by 2041.

Across all forms of transport, the number of people killed or seriously injured increased by 17 per cent, rising from 3,070 to 3,580.

There were 23,131 reported collisions – up 2,130 (10 per cent) on the previous year. There were 3,505 serious injuries (up from 2,974) and 23,096 slight injuries (up from 21,275).

The 10 cyclists killed last year included Imelda Seymour, who was hit by a van on the A316 at Richmond, Evelina hospital paediatrician Dr Marta Krawiec, who was killed by a left-turning HGV at Holborn, and Imperial College PhD student Christina Kong, who was hit by a lorry in Wood Lane.

Campaigners have warned that delays in the Government offering TfL a long-term funding deal to repair roads and replace dangerous junctions is putting Londoners at risk.

Adam Harrison, Camden’s cabinet member for sustainability, said it was “impossible” to introduce a “Vision Zero” transformation of high-risk areas such as Holborn without Government support for TfL.

Kingston Cycling Campaign said the lack of funds had prevented the completion of “mini Holland” safer routes in the borough.

The figures, released on Monday to mark the start of Vision Zero week to highlight the problem of road danger, show that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists or moped riders accounted for 81 per cent of all people killed or seriously injured on the capital’s roads last year.

Cars were involved in 64 per cent of all collisions resulting in death or injury, up from 62 per cent in 2019. Speeding remains the biggest risk, with half of the 2021 fatal collisions in London (37 out of 75) reporting speed as a contributory factor.

TfL has been working with the Met to enable it to enforce up to a million speeding offences by 2024/25. In 2021/2022, the Met enforced 476,685 speeding offences, 199,105 more than in the previous year.

Mr Khan said: “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.

“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.”

Jeremy Leach, Action Vision Zero co-founder, said: “The rise in serious injuries is a real concern. We will struggle to get people out of their cars and choosing to walk and cycling if they are at risk of serious injury particularly from speeding vehicles.”

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