Serious road injuries rise in Newham and Tower Hamlets

John Biggs, City and East London Assembly member for the Labour Party

John Biggs, City and East London Assembly member for the Labour Party - Credit: Archant

London Assembly member John Biggs is calling on Boris Johnson to introduce targets to reduce serious road injuries after figures rise among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

The figures released by Transport for London last week show a nine percent increase in serious injuries among all road users between 2011 and 2012 - with a particular rise among pedestrians (up 17 cent), motorcyclists (up six per cent) and children (up by 19 per cent).

It comes despite a the total number of road fatalities in London falling by two percent.

In Tower Hamlets casualties rose by 21 per cent for pedestrians, 24 per cent for cyclists and six per cent for mortorcyclists.

In Newham casualties rose by six per cent for pedestrians and 10 percent for motorcyclist but there was a seven percent drop in serious injuries among cyclists.

Mr Biggs, who represent both boroughs on the assembly, said: ““The Mayor must introduce targets to bring down the rise of serious casualties on London’s roads.

“Boris has taken his eye off the ball and the result has been an increase in injuries to the most vulnerable road users. His policy of smoothing car traffic in London has been at the expense of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. If we are determined to encourage more people to cycle and walk then the Mayor must improve public safety on busy routes such as Bethnal Green Road.”

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Transport for London said they are determined to tackle the rise in serious injuries in collaboration with the Mayor, police and the London Mayors.

Mr Johnson’s cycling commissioner for London, Andrew Gilligan, said: “The cyclist casualty figure is troubling, but we are doing something about it. It is one of the key reasons why the Mayor is so strongly committed to spending almost one billion pounds to improve conditions and safety for cyclists.

“At the same time, the casualty figure does need to be kept in perspective. While the number of cycle journeys in London for 2012 isn’t currently available, in 2011 there were 209 million cycle journeys in the capital. Of those, 555 ended in serious injury – a rate of 0.0003 per cent, or one journey in every 380,000.”