TfL ‘not doing enough’ to protect motorcyclists

12.00 | 9 March 2016 | | 5 comments

The London Assembly Transport Committee says Transport for London (TfL) is ‘under pressure’ over the rising number of motorcycle deaths in the Capital.

The claim came as the Transport Committee published its report into motorcycle safety, titled ‘Easy Rider: Improving motorcycle safety on London roads’.

Valerie Shawcross CBE, chair of the Committee, said TfL must “pay more attention to the safety of motorcyclists”, adding that “they (TfL) know they’ve not done enough to protect motorcyclists in London”.

On the same day that the London Assembly published its report (2 March), TfL announced it is ‘strengthening the work it carries out to reduce the number of accidents involving motorcycle and scooter riders in the Capital’.

In 2014, 5,233 motorcyclists were injured on London’s road, representing a 21% increase from 2010 when the figure stood at 4,337. The London Assembly says motorcyclists account for around 17% of all injuries and 24% of serious casualties on London’s roads, despite comprising just 1% of traffic in the capital.

It also says that in the past two years, 20% of motorcyclists in London have been involved in a collision, while just over three in five (62%)  have been involved in a near miss incident.

The key findings of the Committee’s report cover topics including access to bus lanes, monitoring of Cycle Superhighways and encouraging more young young riders to take additional training.

The report concludes that inconsistencies in providing access to bus lanes for motorcyclists causes ‘unnecessary confusion’. Currently, TfL allows motorcyclists to ride in bus lanes on the roads it manages, but many boroughs restrict access on their own roads. The London Assembly calls for a ‘more proactive approach’ from TfL to ensure a common approach across the city.

It also finds that close monitoring of Cycle Superhighways is necessary to assess the impact on safety for other vulnerable road users, particularly the reduction in road space for other traffic.

In terms of training, the report concludes that while the BikeSafe scheme appears to be effective in increasing safety awareness, more must be done to encourage young riders to participate in the scheme.

Valerie Shawcross CBE AM, chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, said: “There are three types of vulnerable road user in the Capital – cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

“During my time on the Transport Committee we have spent a great deal of time and effort ensuring TfL considers the needs of cyclists and pedestrians – now it is time for them to pay more attention to the safety of motorcyclists.  

“It’s no coincidence that TfL rushed out a PR release the day before our report was published – they know they’ve not done enough to protect motorcyclists in London. I hope our investigation prompts them to act.

“Powered two-wheelers can be the congestion-buster of the future. More and more deliveries could be made by motorbike and electrified motorcycles will have a big impact on pollution levels. We have to ensure there is space for all modes of transport on London’s roads and that every road user can get from A to B as safely as possible.”



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    I would like to see motorcyclists in London have a fair share of the cake. Which I am not to convinced is really happening when compared to let’s say cyclists. If we cut our cake according to KSIs within vulnerable road uer groups there is no doubtin my mind motorcyclists are been short changed.

    So in that sense I agree with the LATC and I would welcome further work by TfL. Which I understand is starting to happen.

    Gareth, Surrey, working in London
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    Bob: Do you not think road users – especially motorcyclists who have chosen the most vulnerable and risky mode of transport – should take extra care and assume responsibilty for their own welfare and safety on the roads? I’m not convinced the authorities – in whatever form – can be held responsible for the behaviour of individuals on the roads. They can try and improve matters yes, through education, guidance and enforcement etc. but I don’t think they can be expected to hold every road users hand.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    TfL are the organisation charged with looking after the safety of all road users within capital city. They have all the funding, knowledge and where with all to be UK leaders and should be able to come up with a plethora of advances, interventions or whatever to make the City a safe place for all and that has to include motorcyclists as one of the three major vulnerable groups. Once again motorcyclists have not received the support, monies and interventions or training that other groups such as cyclists have been receiving and that shows in the increased problems, deaths and injuries to motorcyclists. Side lined once again.

    R.Craven Blackpool
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    Not the fault of TFL alone. More on-road dedicated cycle lanes reduces the road space available for other traffic. Especially motorcyclists who as a vulnerable road user group are exposed to higher risks. Whoever is responsible for squeezing out road space for motorcyclists is potentially contributing to the problem of increasing risks for motorcyclists and other PTWs. As the article also says, lack of consistency across the city for motorcycles being permitted in bus lanes does not help either.

    Pat, Wales
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    Why is it Tfl’s fault if motorcylists are having road accidents in London exactly? Considering 99% of motorcyclists regularly ride through London without incident, what does.. “they (TfL) know they’ve not done enough to protect motorcyclists in London” actually mean?

    If one looked at the individual accident reports, I have a feeling that we would see that it was actually the fault of one or more road users – just like every road accident that happens every day.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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