Report of the Executive Director, Environment.
The Committee received a report of the Executive Director, Environment concerning CR20: Road Safety Risk Deep Dive.
Officers underlined that they took the approach to vision zero and road danger reduction extremely seriously and highlighted that this report would also be considered by the Audit and Risk Management Committee later today.
A Member stated that he felt that the risk needed to be updated and increased given the introduction of electric scooters and a significant increase in irresponsible cycling witnessed by many in the City recently. He went on to mention that there had been increased focus on the speed of motor vehicles and not on cycles or electric scooters which were now often travelling faster than cars and therefore of greater concern. He felt that there was a real enforcement issue around these vehicles and identifying their users.
Another Member spoke to echo these sentiments and referred specifically to electric bicycles, the speed of which could often be misjudged by pedestrians. She went on to refer to particular concerns around delivery drivers and suggested that Officers might look to engage directly with specific companies on this point and adequate training.
A Member commented that the table featured at paragraph 7 of the report highlighted that, even despite the lockdown period, there had still been 41 serious injuries reported in 2020. With regard to electric scooters, she stated that she understood that the ones available for hire in the City were geofenced and limited to a certain speed – she asked if Officers could clarify this point. The Member went on to express concerns around private e-scooters being used illegally in the City and expressed the need for greater enforcement and awareness here.
Officers reported that it was important to differentiate between the e-scooters that were part of the hire trial and those that were privately owned and therefore not legal to use on the streets. It was confirmed that the maximum speed limit for those scooters available to hire was set at 12.5mph. Officers stated that, as far as they were aware, no speed limits were set for privately owned e-scooters but they stressed that they were sure that the Department for Transport would be bringing forward legislation around this in due course. It was highlighted that the trial would help inform national legislation going forward. Officers appreciated the concerns raised with regard to enforcement and undertook to raise this further with the City of London Police to see what improvements could be made.
With regard to electric bicycles, Members were informed that the maximum speed for these should be set at 15.5mph and that enforcement measures could be taken against any moving faster than this with the motor running. It was reported that speed limits applied only to motor vehicles at present and not pedal cycles. Officers explained that part of the reason that they were keen to secure a 15mph speed limit in the City was to try and establish a slower speed culture for all. Members were informed that the letter seeking support for this change had now been submitted to the Secretary of State and that, in due course, there would be engagement, education and enforcement campaigns around this. Officers reported that one of the campaigns that they were keen to reinvigorate was the ‘Be Brake Ready’ campaign.
With regard to the kind of vehicles involved in collisions, Officers reported that they were currently in the process of commissioning some analysis of the data collected over the past few years. This would help focus campaigns and assist enforcement further. Whilst previous analysis had suggested that 90% of collisions involved a motor vehicle, the concerns around bicycles and e-scooters were well understood with Members informed that the last fatal collision reported in the City was as a result of someone being hit by a cyclist.
Another Member referred to the City’s cycle training and suggested that this looked to be very limited compared to that offered by other boroughs – she asked Officers to comment on this. Officers undertook to look into this further but highlighted that take up of cycle training offered by the City was currently very good. Members were informed that it had been difficult to engage City workers in particular in the past as many preferred to undertake training closer to home. Members were also informed that bike maintenance sessions were also offered on-street. The Chair confirmed that he was also aware of a Comms strategy being worked up around this training offering.
Members asked that an amended version of this paper be brought back to this Committee for further discussion in due course. Officers undertook to do so and underlined that they did provide updates on measures to mitigate CR20 within the quarterly updates on the Transport Strategy and wider Risk Register reports. Members were also assured that the risk score was regularly reviewed and could be revised as and when necessary.
RESOLVED – That Members note the report.