The mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have published London’s first Vision Zero action plan, which sets out bold and ambitious plans to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from the UK capital’s transport network.
Working with the Met Police and London boroughs, TfL’s radical Vision Zero approach starts from the premise that no death or serious injury on London’s roads is acceptable or inevitable. In a bid to eliminate the more than 2,000 people that are killed or seriously injured (KSI) on London’s streets annually, the Vision Zero initiative includes the introduction of lower speed limits on TfL’s road network, the transformation of dangerous junctions, tough safety standards for the design of trucks, and a comprehensive bus safety program, which includes speed-limiting technology and a new innovative training course for all drivers.
To reach its Vision Zero ambition, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has set TfL a number of challenging interim targets, including: a 65% reduction of KSI figures on London’s roads by 2022; nobody being killed on or by a bus by 2030; Vision Zero achieved in 2041.
At the heart of the mayor and TfL’s plans is reducing the speed of vehicles on London’s streets as a key way to reduce road danger. TfL is now proposing to make 20mph (32km/h) the new general speed limit on all its roads within the Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ) by 2020, prioritizing the part of the capital with a high volume of vulnerable road users, including people who walk, cycle or use a motorcycle. By 2020, a total of 5.5 miles (8.9km) of new roads within the CCZ will have a 20mph limit.
TfL is also proposing the introduction of 20mph speed limits on its road network in many of London’s other town centers and high-risk locations by 2024. Overall TfL is aiming for 93 miles (150km) of new lower speed limits to be introduced on its road network.
Other initiatives in the VZ Action Plan include:
• A new police focus on the most dangerous drivers and amplification of the deterrent effect through widespread high visibility roadside operations and patrols;
• Continuation of TfL’s work to make the most dangerous junctions in London safer. The agency has already identified 73 junctions with the worst safety records and are proceeding with a major ‘Safer Junctions’ program that will see significant safety improvements at these locations to reduce danger for people walking and cycling;
• Due to be introduced in 2020, TfL’s ‘Direct Vision Standard’ for heavy goods vehicles will be the first initiative of its kind in the world to categorize trucks depending on the level of a driver’s direct vision from a cab. Trucks will be given a rating between ‘zero-star’ (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest), with only those vehicles rated ‘three-star’ and above, or which have comprehensive safety systems, able to operate in London from 2024;
• A world-leading Bus Safety Standard is also being developed for London’s buses that will identify the latest safety technologies and features to significantly reduce casualties on the bus network;
• An education campaigns with local communities and schools and safety training for motorcycle and moped riders and cyclists.
The London mayor said, “Our bold and far-reaching plans are some of most ambitious in the world, and start from the basis that no death or serious injury on London’s roads should be treated as acceptable or inevitable.”