Pedestrian road deaths spark calls for review into crossings

More than 1,200 people were injured and 68 people were killed while walking on or alongside London’s roads in 2019, figures have revealed.

Of those killed, 44 were people crossing the road, with similar numbers reported in provisional figures for 2020.

The shocking statistics were revealed in a meeting of the London Assembly today by Green Party member Caroline Russell, who also revealed that 261 junctions in London contain no pedestrian crossing signals.

The Assembly unanimously supported Ms Russell’s motion that called on the Mayor of London to review pedestrian safety and to develop a plan to install pedestrian crossing signals at all junctions by 2030 in order to “close this worrying safety gap”.

The motion also called for the mayor to examine where there is potential to install further safety features such as dropped kerbs and tactile strips that warn people with visual impairments when they are reaching the edge of the pavement.

Caroline Russell said: “It is really important that our city streets are inclusive and safe for children to walk to school and for everyone, especially older people and disabled people. Our streets must be accessible for people getting around with a white cane, a guide dog, a walking frame, a wheelchair or a mobility scooter.”

The motion was approved by all members of the London Assembly with a minor amendment from Labour that called on Sadiq Khan to work with local councils, who share responsibility for running London’s road network.

Labour’s Dr Alison Moore said that the Mayor of London “has made some good progress” on pedestrian road safety, such as the introduction of 20 miles per hour speed limits within the congestion charge zone, but said that “we need to go further”.

Dr Moore said: “One life lost is one life too many… To tackle this issue we need to see TfL and local authorities come together to use accident data to make crossings safer and, yes, we should look at pedestrian crossings.”

Keith Prince, the GLA Conservative transport spokesperson, said he “fully supports” the motion and added, “it’s very important that we make London safer for pedestrians”.

Earlier this week Sadiq Khan announced the introduction of the Direct Vision Standard for lorries in London that aims to cut pedestrian and cyclist deaths by enforcing the use of safety features such as cameras on HGVs.

It is part of the mayor’s Vision Zero Plan that aims to eliminate all serious injuries and deaths from London’s roads by 2041.

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