Call for Boris Johnson and TfL to cut cycling casualties

The mayor's office said details of a "major new investment in cycling" would be outlined soon

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The mayor of London is being called on to reduce the number of serious cycling accidents on London's roads.

A report by London Assembly's transport committee said the number of cycling casualties had risen by 50% between 2006 and 2011.

The report recommends doubling the funding for cycling in the Transport for London (TfL) budget.

The mayor's office said details of a "major new investment in cycling" would be outlined later this year.

The report, called Gearing up: An investigation into safer cycling in London, said that although the number of cycling casualties had reduced between 2001 and 2005, injuries had risen from 2006.

'Ambitious vision'

According to the document, there were 3,322 injuries in 2001, 444 of them serious and 21 fatal.

The number fell to 2,895 injuries in 2005, 351 serious and 21 fatal.

In 2006 there were 2,958 injuries in total, 373 of them serious and 19 fatal, rising to a total of 4,497 injuries in 2011, 555 of them serious and 16 fatal.

There has been record investment in cycling but it's not done enough to silence the campaigners.

This is a new breed of social media savvy campaigner and blogger who feel empowered and entitled to better and safer roads.

They had thought they had got a commitment from the mayor to improve cycling infrastructure, especially at junctions, but there is frustration at the pace of change.

This report taps right into the grass root concerns.

While record amounts of money has been spent, many feel it has been used in the wrong place on schemes like the cycling superhighways that many feel don't do enough to increase safety.

The report said safety concerns were "an important barrier to more cycling".

It said 2% of journeys in London were made by bicycle, an equivalent of 540,000 journeys a day and a lower percentage than in Bristol, Cambridge and Hull.

Less than 1% of TfL's budget [£73m in 2012/13] was spent on cycling, while Edinburgh City Council had set aside 5% of its transport budget for cycling over the next four years, the report said.

TfL's spending on cycling is about £10 per capita, half of that spent on cycling in the Netherlands and Copenhagen, it added.

The report also urged TfL to ensure all children have the opportunity to receive cycle training at school, and continue to focus on raising HGV safety standards.

Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the committee, said the mayor should trial "creative ideas" to improve safety.

"A more ambitious vision backed by real political will and safer conditions could help London reach the high levels of cycling seen in other European capitals," she added.

A spokesman for the mayor of London said the mayor had overseen "the largest investment in cycling that the capital has ever seen".

He said casualty figures from the report should be taken in the context of the significant increase in the number of people cycling - a rise of more than 170% in the capital in the past 11 years.

He added that the statistics were however an area of concern for the mayor and TfL.

The spokesman said that work to improve the safety of cyclists had begun "as a matter of urgency", and that thousands of children and adults were being given cycle training.

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