As it happened – RSGB at the LRSC Centenary Conference

12.00 | 24 January 2017 | | 1 comment

The Road Safety GB editorial team attended the Guildhall, London, on 24 January, where the London Road Safety Council hosted its Centenary Conference.

  • Event was supported by Road Safety GB
  • Around 180 people attended
  • Visit the LRSC website for full updates

14.45‘The world’s first airbag for cyclists’

Fredrik Carling, CEO of Hövding, has flown in from Sweden to talk to delegates about ‘the world’s first airbag for cyclists’.

He also demonstrated the product (pictured below).


‘Why challenge status quo – it’s worked for decades’
Really – does it really work? The number of adult cyclist using a helmet is very low
Hovding – 3x better shock absorbtion compared with traditional helmet
Battery charged (10hrs), measure body movement 200 times per second.
Protects surface of head and neck
An eight fold reduction in risk of concussion
793 accidents in which Hovding has done its job
Champions League verses fourth division!
40,000 Hovding on streets today
Cost – £219
Once deployed, needs to be replaced (at a reduced price)

14.25 – Richard Cuerden (TRL) provides update on driverless cars and technology

Richard Cuerden, chief scientist and research director, engineering and technology, TRL, is talking to delegates about driverless cars and vehicle technology. He is providing a progress report on the various trials and initiatives currently taking place in the UK.


  • Three big showcase projects funded by Gov’t– Pathfinder, Gateway & Venturer
  • Many technologies coming to market in high-end vehicles
  • The challenge is time – can take up to a million miles of data to validate a system
  • Currently hoovering up data to compare what human drivers are doing compared to automated cars.
  • GATEway – what can autonomous cars do for people with disabilities and can autonomous cars make deliveries?
  • Pod being tested always has a supervisor – is the technology robust, how do people behave when the see the vehicle
  • Crowds are difficult for autonomous cars – if we’re not sure vehicle will slow down – still not sure, it will stop.
  • Trialling of shuttles scheduled for April 2017. Programme will end in September
  • Not just cars & pods – HGV Platooning trials – UK Gov’t trial during 2017
  • Auto industry spending billions on this technology
  • Ford will be mass-producing a car with no steering wheel or pedals by 2021.

The whole landscape is changing…

14.00Nicola Glover provides information about 20mph research by Atkins

Nicola Glover, Atkins, is discussing the purpose, methodology and early finding of a report into 20mph limits by Atkins.


Background to study: DfT concerned that authorities are implementing 20mph signed only speed limits with little research

Currently in main evaluation phase of project

Looking at why schemes are being introduced and what impact are they having?

Schemes implemented with three main drivers:

  • Transport-related
  • Health-related
  • Community or politically driven (bottom up by communities or top down by councillors)

Early findings:

  • 20mph limits are generally supported by residents and drivers
  • The majority of residents are aware of the scheme in their area
  • Low numbers of residents and drivers think average speed has reduced
  • 2/3rds of residents and drivers feel 20mph limits have been beneficial for cyclists
  • Three quarters of residents & drivers think the schemes benefit their area
  • Drivers say they are more aware of hazards
  • Evidence of small increases of walking & cycling in areas

Further analysis – speed data analysis in 12 case study authorities (level of compliance, average speed, effectiveness of limits over time, speed displacement impacts, effectiveness of limits v zones).

11.45Phil Jones and Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE discuss shared spaces

Phil Jones, Phil Jones Associates, and Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE, discuss shared spaces, including an overview of a review being prepared by CIHT.

Soundbites: – Phil Jones

There are controversies around shared space, but we are trying to find ways around these

Streets where there is a lack of differentiation have been around since whenever

Hans Monderman (Dutch engineer) introduced this technique as a road safety measure 

Shared schemes can still have pedestrian crossings (eg: Drachten, Netherlands)

There is general DfT support for shared space schemes (Local Transport Note 1/11)

Comparable number of casualties on shared space & conventional schemes

Reducing segregation slows down traffic

Shared space is not a thing, it is an approach

Many schemes are done for urban regeneration, not simply road safety

There are issues & concerns (Moody & Melia Paper)

DfT continues to monitor and last year issued a call for information on schemes which was then passed to CIHT

Three broad types of design:

  • Unstructured street
  • Less managed street
  • Enhanced street

But…it’s features that matter, not names 

Reasons why people do shared space:

  • More inclusive environment
  • Better quality place
  • Ease of movement
  • Improved safety & public health

13 case studies being researched – aiming to publish spring 2017

Typical findings:

  • More inclusive environment
  • Better quality place
  • Ease of movement
  • Improved safety & public health

Soundbites: Chris Holmes
Inclusion is the mother and father of innovation

  • Moritorium on shared space schemes
  • Audit of shared space
  • Updated DfT guidance
  • Retention of controlled crossings

10.15Keith Prince AM discusses motorcycle safety

Keith Prince AM, deputy chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, is now talking about improving motorcycle safety on London’s roads.


  • You’re never a true motorcyclist until you’ve fallen off!
  • Motorcyclists are under valued by the Mayor and TfL
  • London Assembly motorcycling report published in March 2016
  • Motorcyclists account for 1% of traffic but 24% of casualties in London.
  • Casualties mainly among young men riding mopeds – not enough is being done to address this.
  • Giving motorcyclists to bus lanes causes problems – it’s a postcode lottery in terms of whether motorcyclists can use bus lanes – causes problems & confusion.
  • Will be campaigning to persuade all boroughs to allow motorcyclists access to bus lanes.
  • Training & education – Bikesafe workshops funded by TfL are very good…but participants are disproportionately older…TfL should increase youth participation
  • TfL Motorcycle Action Plan should be replaced or updated, and identify a dedicated motorcycle safety budget

09.45TfL’s Leon Daniels delivers opening keynote address

Transport for London’s Leon Daniels delivers opening keynote address: ‘Sources of Road Danger’.

Here are some of the Soundbites from his speech:

  • London’s roads are at their safest since records began…but pedestrians, cyclists & motorcyclists remain a priority
  • We are working especially hard to reduce motorcyclist casualties
  • ‘Vision Zero’ will make our streets safer
  • Healthy Streets will contribute to improving quality of life for Londoners
  • TfL developing plans for ‘Vision Zero’
  • No death or serious injury is inevitable or acceptable
  • London is leading the way with innovative & evidence-based road safety interventions
  • Our ambitious future programme includes Direct Vision Standard (for trucks), Safer Junction, collaboration with police on education and enforcement, and 20mph limits.
  • We are delivering a broad programme of bus safety improvements, reducing the risk posed to other road users through a new bus safety programme.
  • We are working in partnership to achieve Vision Zero for London…delivering road safety in collaboration with our partners.
  • Technology – increased automation in cars – we are thinking about a city with autonomous vehicles. Will pedestrians take less care knowing the autonomous vehicles will always stop for them?
  • Serious moral issue for all of us to consider with regard to autonomous vehicles further down the line.




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    I was not in attendance at this event but the following statement seems rather ill thought “You’re never a true motorcyclist until you’ve fallen off!”

    I have held a motorcycle licence for 39 years, ride a large cruiser and never fallen off.
    Does the speaker suggest the same applies to car drivers, you are not a true motorist until you’ve crashed.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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