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Mayor's cycle safety improvements "lack momentum" - Val Shawcross AM

The Mayor of London faced questions today (Wednesday) over new figures showing that cyclists accounted for 20% of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads last year, despite making up just 2% of journeys. Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson Val Shawcross warned that the Mayor’s failure to set out long term plans to deliver cycle safety could see London’s cycle revolution “over before it ever really begins”. Ms Shawcross said she “did not accept” the Mayor’s assertion that the figures were a “statistical inevitability”

Figures released by Transport for London (TfL) earlier this month reveal that cyclists now account for a greater proportion of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads than they did six years ago. In 2009 cyclists made up 13% of people killed or seriously injured on the capital’s road network, but last year this proportion rose to 20%. Val Shawcross AM said it was clear the Mayor needed to do more to deliver cycle safety in London.

Londoners have had to wait seven years for Boris Johnson to deliver safety improvements to the capital’s cycle infrastructure, with the Safer Lorries Scheme only given the green light earlier this year. Meanwhile, safety improvement works are yet to be completed on any of 33 junctions set out in the Mayor’s Better Junction programme.

Val Shawcross AM said the Mayor’s belated efforts to improve cycle safety risk being undermined by his failure to provide TfL with clear instructions to take cycle infrastructure works forward beyond May 2016. Last month Boris Johnson conceded during a radio interview that he “wish he’d done more” to boost cyclist safety during his time as Mayor. 

Labour London Assembly Transport Spokesperson Val Shawcross AM said:

“It’s gravely concerning that so many people killed or seriously injured on our roads are cyclists, particularly when they account for so few journeys made in our capital. It’s simply not good enough for the Mayor to put this down to a ‘statistical inevitability’.

“After seven years, the Mayor has finally taken some steps towards making cycling easier and safer for Londoners. But his belated efforts risk being entirely undermined by his failure to set out anything remotely resembling a long term plan for the delivery of cycle safety improvements.

“We’ve witnessed a cycle revolution take hold in our capital in recent years, but we lack momentum.  With less than a year to go as Mayor, it’s time Boris Johnson issued a clear timeframe for TfL to complete its remaining cycle safety programme on London’s roads and junctions.  Without any continuity plan our capital’s cycle revolution could be over before it ever really begins.”

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