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Doubt cast on Richmond's road safety credentials
Road safety champions and cycling campaigners have criticised council claims that Richmond’s roads are among the safest in the capital.
Earlier this month Richmond Council welcomed new figures from Transport for London (TfL) that showed road collisions in the borough fell by 9 per cent to 473 in the past year.
Councillor Jerry Elloy, Liberal Democrat spokesman for transport, traffic and parking, said in fact road casualty figures had been static in past years, apart from a sharp rise from 475 to 518 in 2011.
He said this was a 9 per cent increase compared with a London-wide increase of 1 per cent.
TfL figures show before 2011 Richmond’s road casualties remained between 445 and 489 per year, which critics said showed this year’s drop was a return to form and Richmond’s roads were no safer than in 2010.
Richmond Cycling Campaign (RCC) welcomed the drop in road casualties but said the number of crashes involving cyclists increased by 60 per cent since 2006, despite the proportion of journeys by bike remaining at 5 per cent.
An RCC spokesman said: “Those on bikes are disproportionally at risk with one in four of those injured on our borough’s roads being a cyclist when only one in 20 journeys are made by bicycle.
“We continue to ask the council to ensure road design considers the safety of cyclists and pedestrians from the outset not as an add-on, something that we continue to struggle to get across on plans for Twickenham town centre where proposed cycle lanes are only advisory and disappear at junctions.
“Only when mums and dads feel safe to cycle with their kids to school will we really have achieved a true cycling legacy for the borough.”
Coun Elloy said: “What has changed significantly in the past two years is cycling accidents which have increased by 30 per cent, and more radical measures such as a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit are needed to protect and encourage the growth in cycling, which in turn should reduce car traffic.”
To view TfL figures in full, visit tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/23293.aspx.
TfL causality figures at a glance for Richmond:
Year Total Cyclist
2005 549 77
2006 479 71
2007 489 81
2008 467 96
2009 445 99
2010 475 110
2011 518 129
2012 473 114
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