While the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on London’s roads in 2014 fell to its lowest level since records began, the number of motorcyclist fatalities rose from 22 in 2013 to 27 in 2014.
On the back of the figures, Boris Johnson, mayor of London, has announced a target to halve the number of KSIs on London’s roads by 2020.
The 2014 stats show that compared to 2013 the number of overall KSIs was down 7%, while pedestrian and car occupant KSIs fell by 7% and 6% respectively. The number of cyclist KSIs was down 12%, despite “huge increases” in the number of people cycling, and the number of child KSIs fell 11% to the lowest level recorded.
TfL says that while the overall figures are very positive, there are “still some continuing areas of concern”.
Of the 13 cyclist fatalities in 2014, five involved HGVs or commercial vehicles and all six to date in 2015 have also involved this type of vehicle. To help address this, TfL and London boroughs are introducing the Safer Lorry Scheme from 1 September, which will require all lorries entering the Capital to be fitted with basic safety equipment including sideguards and mirrors.
To address the increase in motorcycling fatalities, a dedicated police motorcycle safety team is undertaking a range of educational initiatives and carrying out enforcement against speeding, careless riding, and red light running.
Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, said the statistics “show quite clearly that road safety in the Capital continues to head in the right direction”.
Mr Johnson added: “Today, we’re setting a new target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020. It is an ambitious target, but I believe it is one that we can achieve.”
Both the RAC and IAM expressed concern at the increase in motorcycle fatalities.
Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said: “The increase in motorcyclist fatalities is the first rise in London since 2011; while the numbers might look small, every death on our roads is a tragedy.
“Later this month we should know how the rest of England compares. Unlike in London, many parts of the country reported a rise in motorcyclists killed in 2013 compared to previous years, so clearly a large task remains for local authorities when it comes to improving safety on our roads.”
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: "Motorcycling is gaining in popularity in the capital where it offers an excellent solution to London’s congestion problems, but it is worrying that deaths are on the increase.
“Drivers are clearly learning to look out for pedestrians and cyclists but the vulnerability of motorcyclists is often forgotten. As well as biker awareness campaigns for all road users the IAM would like to see easy access to extra training for those taking up urban commuting for the first time."