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Fatalities on the decline but cyclists remain among London’s most vulnerable road users



Fatalities on the decline but cyclists remain among London’s most vulnerable road users

The number of cycling-related deaths on London’s roads decreased by 40% in 2023 compared to the 2010-2014 baseline, according to new figures released by Transport for London (TfL).

Eight people were killed while riding on the roads of the UK capital in 2023 in what proved to be one of the safest years yet, compared to the average of 13 deaths recorded in the baseline 2010-2014 years. The findings match a country-wide trend of falling fatality rates, with a study published by Cycling UK in 2023 finding that there were 24% fewer fatalities per billion miles pedalled in the UK compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, despite the downward trend, cyclists remain among the most “vulnerable road users” in London, according to TfL, alongside motorcyclists and walkers. Those three categories accounted for 80% of the 2,981 fatalities or serious injuries in 2023, but that didn’t represent a change on the 80% figure from the year before.

The latest figures come amid the Mayor of London’s ongoing Vision Zero goal to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network.

“The latest casualty stats show that it is more important than ever to double down on our Vision Zero goal,” Lilli Matson, TfL’s Chief Safety, Health and Environment Officer, said in a press release.

“Protecting everyone on the road, particularly people walking, cycling and motorcycling, is a priority for us and our partners and we will continue to incorporate our Vision Zero strategy into every decision we make. Without safe streets, we know that people won’t choose the most healthy and sustainable modes of transport. We are determined to make London a greener, more sustainable and safer city, and Vision Zero is an essential part of building a better London for everyone.”

Read more: London’s cycling infrastructure network has quadrupled in length since Sadiq Khan became mayor

The decline in fatalities comes in contrast to the growing number of cyclists who are taking to London’s roads. According to TfL’s latest figures, 1.26 million cycling journeys were completed in 2023, marking a 6.3% rise on the 2022 figure.

Despite this, TfL says that there are still multiple barriers in place that prevent people from taking up cycling in the UK’s capital, including safety concerns, and it says there is a need for more cycling infrastructure and road safety initiatives in the future.

“The Mayor is committed to making it safer and easier for people to walk and cycle around our city, which is why we are expanding our safer speed programme, tightening the Direct Vision Safety standard for HGVs and working with the boroughs to deliver high-quality cycle routes as we work to build a greener, safer London for everyone,” Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman said.

For more of the latest updates, visit our general cycling news page.

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