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Road Danger Reduction & Active Travel Plan 2018 -2023

Report of the Director of the Built Environment.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of the Department of Built Environment on the Road Danger Reduction & Active Travel Plan 2018-2023.

 

Officers reported that the plan had been developed with the aim of reducing the annual number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) in traffic incidents in line with the Vision Zero target.

 

The Chairman underlined the importance of the plan to this Committee.

 

Officers went on to highlight that data had revealed that goods vehicles remained the most dangerous on the City’s roads in terms of pedestrian death and serious injury There was also a rising trend of pedestrian collisions with two wheeled vehicles – both bicycles and motorcycles.

 

Members were informed that consultation showed high support for the Plan and that the amended document had therefore retained the ten original steps but modified them to reflect comments from the consultation process.

 

Officers went on to report that engagement would be a key element in delivering the plan and reaching intended targets, particularly given that data showed that 70% of collisions in the City occurred on TfL roads.

 

An Alderman stated that he was fully supportive of the proposed plan and any steps necessary in terms of achieving Vision Zero. He went on, however, to question why the City’s 2022 target was so high in relation to the Mayor’s target for that same year. He also questioned why the 2020 target had been set back in 2013.

 

Officers reported that the 2022 target was set against a baseline year of 2009-2014 as set by TfL. This period had, unfortunately, seen a 65% increase in KSI’s for the City of London Corporation and the organisation had therefore adopted a linear approach to hit the 2030 target. He added that the organisation had failed to hit the 2013 target on KSIs due to an increase in the number of people entering the City on a daily basis a this point in time which did not appear to have been factored in to target setting.

 

A Member commended the document and went on to question the wording in Theme 2 ‘Safer Speeds’. He suggested that the assumption made here that, ‘stopping distances increase with speed and reaction times reduce’ was wrong. He asked that this be amended to read ‘..required reaction times reduce’ here and throughout the document.  Officers agreed to this amendment.

 

With reference to the fact that goods vehicles representing the greatest cause of pedestrian death and serious injury on the City’s roads, a Member questioned whether further progress had been made in terms of moving forward loading times for these vehicles. The Chairman indicated that a further report on this matter would be brought back to the Committee in due course. Officers reported that this matter would also be addressed within the emerging Transport Strategy.

 

The Member went on to mention mobile phone use by pedestrians and stated that, in other countries, drastic approaches had been adopted such as giving criminal records for this. Another Member commented that mobile phone use was also an issue amongst cyclists. She suggested that the City of London Corporation should play a role in developing national legislation around this given that there were already clear rules in place around it for drivers.

Officers reported that an informal survey had recently been conducted at Ludgate Circus on pedestrian use of mobile phones and that some data on this would therefore be available going forward.

Officers went on to highlight that national legislation around cyclists using mobile phones was currently progressing through parliament and that the City Corporation had made a submission alongside the City of London Police and TfL on this requesting that careless cycling be made an offence.

 

The Member also questioned the use of images within Theme 3 ‘Safer Vehicles’. She suggested that there were better examples of this depicting safe, visible vehicles that might be more appropriate to use here. Officers agreed with this point and undertook to replace this with a more suitable image.

 

With further reference to the dangers associated with goods vehicles the Chairman questioned what, in anything, was being done about tipper trucks specifically. He commented that he frequently observed these vehicles driving at speed at peak times and questioned whether, in time, more thought needed to be given to segregating these types of vehicles. Officers reported that there had been two fatalities on the City’s roads involving tipper trucks in the past 5 years. They added that a lot of work had been undertaken with contractors via the Fleet Operation Recognition Scheme with which they must now comply. This approach appeared to be working with a reduction in the number of KSIs involving these vehicles. Education was also provided for cyclists in terms of vehicles turning and driver ‘blind spots’.

 

A Member commented that Vision Zero should be exactly that, whereby the organisation was genuinely aiming for a target of zero KSIs and all of the different ways in which this could be achieved within the City whether that was via larger areas being pedestrianised or allowing goods vehicles to enter the City at certain times only. Officers endorsed the idea of zero being a genuine target for KSIs on the City’s roads and emphasised that this was the long term target for 2041.

 

A Member commented on proposals around Safer Street Design within Theme 1. He stated that he often found the design and lighting of certain signs wanting, particularly when driving in the City in darker/winter months. He asked that this also be taken into consideration within this area. Officers undertook to raise this with the Engineering Team.

 

With regard to the enforcement required around the Plan, a Member questioned if capacity had been discussed with the City of London Police. Officers reported that they had engaged with the City of London Police, TfL and the GLA amongst others in terms of how things such as 20mph speed limits and cycling offences would be enforced going forward.

 

A Member referred to the figures provided on pedal cyclist and pedestrian collision within the plan. He added that he believed that, in reality, the figures around slight injuries were a lot higher than this as this seemed to be a frequent occurrence. Officers should be aware that not all incidents were necessarily reported in these circumstances. Officers accepted that these incidents were possibly understated and highlighted that TfL had now introduced an online portal where even slight injuries resulting from these types of collisions could be recorded.

 

The Chairman requested that regular reports on the plan and its effectiveness be brought back to this Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That, Members approve the Road Danger Reduction and Active Travel Plan 2018-2023 for adoption.

Supporting documents:

 


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