Life on bikes

Khan & TfL accused of putting motorcyclists’ lives at risk

The body responsible for scrutinising the activities of the Mayor of London has released a damning report accusing the Mayor and Transport for London of not taking motorcycle safety seriously.

The London Assembly, responsible for overseeing the Mayor of London’s activities, has released a deeply critical report on Transport for London’s measures to improve motorcycle safety in the Capital.

The report, Motorcycle Safety in London, Update Report March 2018, highlights areas where Transport for London and the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy have failed to make progress on the safety of motorcyclists.

In particular, the report takes TfL to task for the lack of action over the use of bus lanes across all London boroughs. In a press release launching the report, the London Assembly urges TfL to “Get serious about ensuring motorcyclists can ride in all bus lanes.” The report itself makes it clear, “TfL’s progress in persuading boroughs to allow motorcyclists access to bus lanes has been far too slow. No boroughs have made this change since our last report. A more proactive approach is needed.”

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The London Assembly Transport Committee responsible for producing the report also expressed concerns about reductions in TfL’s road maintenance budget and the fact the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy does not adequately consider motorcycling’s contribution to reducing congestion.

The report highlights concerns over:

* Motorcyclists facing an unacceptable level of risk on London’s roads
* The rate at which motorcyclists are injured in road traffic collisions is disproportionately high
* Motorcyclist casualties in London have not fallen since TfL published its Motorcycle Safety Action Plan in 2014
* The Plan being outdated and how it needs to be renewed with new safety measures.
* The condition of road surfaces – crucial for safe riding

Keith Prince AM, Chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee said; “Motorcycles are an efficient form of transportation which can cut congestion – and motorcyclists shouldn’t be dicing with death every time they take to London’s streets.

“In 2016 this Committee published a report outlining its concerns about the safety of motorcyclists. It’s clear from the evidence we have recently heard that riding a motorcycle in London is no safer than it was two years ago. Why is that the case?

“TfL has failed to implement key recommendations made by the Transport Committee, and we are also disappointed to see the Mayor change his previous proposal to improve safety training. The landmark commitment to a ‘London Standard’ for training needs to be reinstated, and a more proactive approach is needed from boroughs to give motorcyclists access to bus lanes.”

Summarising his thoughts on the report’s findings, the Chairman said, “How many more motorcyclists need to die for TfL to sit up, take notice and do something?”

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Another Assembly Member, UKIP’s David Kurten added, “Cycle Superhighways take up a lot of room on trunk routes which make things less safe for motorcyclists as lane width is reduced and they are squeezed into fewer lanes with other motorised vehicles.

“It would also improve safety for motorcycles if they could use Cycle Superhighways at less busy times of the day outside rush hours, when there are hardly any bicycles on them and they lie dormant and empty.”

The London Assembly has the right to amend the Mayor’s draft strategies, including the current draft Transport Strategy, which has come under increasing attack from the motorcycle industry and campaign groups.

Get yourself sorted:

You can read the report here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/motorcycle_update_report_final.pdf

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B&B Staff

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