There are a staggering 3,798 less people being killed or seriously injured on London’s roads every year compared to the late nineties.
It is proof that accidents don’t just happen.
Both the Mayor and local authorities can do things to stop people dying or ending up with crippling injuries.
London had challenging ten year targets and the budget for road safety trebled in order to deliver on them.
As a result, Until 2007/8, London had a faster decline of casualties than any other urban region in the UK. The combination of having a plan and having the money was a big success, but none of us should regard that as good enough.
In 2010 there were still 2,886 people killed and seriously injured in London. That remains far too many.
The amount of money spent on road safety more than halved between 2008/09 and 2011/12. It remains unclear whether the current Mayor will have a change of heart and increase the budget for the coming year, but there is no indication that the issue has become a priority for him.
It now seems impossible for the Mayor to publish his draft road safety plan and to have time to consult the Assembly on it prior to the pre-election (purdah) period when the City Hall publicity machine goes very quiet.
I have pestered the Mayor for the last 3 years, via Assembly questions, to published a new road safety plan.
In September 2009 the new casualty targets for 2010 onwards were under review as part of drawing up a road safety plan. In November 2010 a strategy ‘was in preparation’ and would be consulted upon in 2011. In January 2011 ‘Stakeholder consultation will take place before the end of the current financial year‘.
In March 2011 analysis of the draft plan was ‘largely complete’ and it merely had to go through the TfL Board. In June 2011 the Mayor said he would ‘shortly consult’ on the new road safety plan. On 25th January 2012 the Mayor was pleased to inform “that TfL will shortly be going out to external consultation”.
I have had lots of promises, but no actual plan for reducing casualties in the next ten years.
Of course plans don’t mean anything unless you have the money and the will to carry them out, but it would at least give Londoners a sense that this issue is important and the Mayor is determined to deal with it.
Jenny Jones is a Green Party Member of the London Assembly