New measures will raise motorcycle safety standards in London

12.00 | 26 October 2017 | | 4 comments

In what is being described as a UK-first initiative, Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled plans to work with delivery companies to create a recognised standard for motorcycle safety.

TfL has announced a raft of new measures to improve the skills and confidence of the Capital’s motorcyclists, including expanding its existing Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) to include businesses which use motorcycles, such as delivery and courier companies.

The voluntary FORS standard has been used in the haulage industry since 2011 to promote safety, efficiency and environmental best practice, with companies awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditations depending on the standard achieved.

The new motorcycle safety standard will cover areas including management, operations, vehicles and drivers – with companies audited on factors including vehicle maintenance, rider training and good operations.

Alongside the new FORS accreditation, TfL has also created three new training courses for motorcyclists in the Capital, designed to boost rider confidence, skills and knowledge before and after Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).

The three new courses:

  • Preparing for your CBT: a short, free online course aimed at new and young riders, which includes essential riding theory and key elements of The Highway Code
  • Beyond CBT: Skills for Delivery Riders: a one-day post CBT top-up course which teaches riders more about the Highway Code, how to secure and ride with a load, plan routes, make safe deliveries and carry out routine maintenance checks on their motorcycle.
  • 1-2-1 Motorcycle Skills: a free, two-hour, tailor-made one-to-one session with a qualified instructor. Aimed at commuters and those who ride lower capacity motorcycles.

TfL will also lobby the Government for changes in the way motorcyclists are licensed, including looking at whether a theory test and hazard perception test could be made mandatory before a driver’s CBT.

Figures published recently by TfL show that motorcycle riders and their pillions accounted for 27% of serious injuries and 28% of all road fatalities in the Capital during 2016, despite making up just 2% of road traffic.

Val Shawcross, London’s deputy mayor for transport, said: “’Through our pioneering FORS we are working with the industry to improve safety and drive up standards for all riders, and we are determined to increase the quality and availability of training that riders can receive.

“But there’s still more we need to do, which is why alongside TfL the mayor will be lobbying the Government to follow our lead and do more to improve the safety of every road user in London.”

Lilli Matson, TfL’s director of transport strategy, said: “It is unacceptable that there are disproportionately high numbers of motorcyclists involved in fatal and serious collisions.

“As part of our Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger, our new measures will work alongside wider efforts to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions on London’s roads which include education, enforcement and infrastructure improvements.”

Category: Motorcyclists.



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    This is a really encouraging step and TFL should be congratulated for it. Let’s hope the Government will do all it can to support this.

    The disproportionate rate of fatalities and serious injuries in relation to modal share demands urgent action.

    Short of banning PTW riders; quality education and training; together with support from employers who have a clear duty of care for staff riding for business, is critical.

    Having attended an offender rider course, it was alarming to hear that one of the attendees had obtained his CBT in 20 minutes. How’s that possible? The ‘instructor’ should have been jailed for fraud.

    It isn’t just about riding skills per se…it’s also equally about increasing cognitive skills and raising awareness of the flaws in human physiology and psychology which increase a riders vulnerability.

    None of the participants in the offenders course were aware of these. What a shame they had to offend to find out.

    Now, hopefully, this vital instruction will be included within these new training modules and we will start to see less PTW casualties on London roads.

    Jan James CEO Good Egg Safety
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    @Andrew Fraser – That being the case, what would you suggest we do to reduce PTW casualties?

    David, Suffolk
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    Slightly worrying that Alison Gowman, City of London Corporation representative on the London Road Safety Council and Chair of the Active City Network, said that: “More training for motorcyclists is certainly a positive step towards [greater safety]”. As we all know, more training is not necessarily a guarantee of greater safety …

    Andrew Fraser
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    Good idea to start them young in their riding life and to educate on defensive riding techniques to keep them out of trouble and alive. All motorcyclists must be made aware of their vulnerability and to stay well away from other vehicles and dangers. Give Extended Safe Space as part of positioning on the road. I hope that there is a good pick up and let us know how it goes on.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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