Greater London, Greater Manchester and Glasgow city councils, and national walking/cycling charity Sustrans, have joined agencies from 13 other European countries to back a new safe urban streets 'paradigm'.
Produced by metropolitan cluster EUROCITIES and European urban and regional transport innovation network POLIS, the movement urges firm commitments to cut urban road speeds, prioritising deterrence of risky driving and investing more in collecting, analysing and publishing traffic safety data.
Transport for London (TfL) cited its close working with boroughs to implement local 20mph speed limits, following their 02 March 2020 introduction on major central area routes. A new community road watch scheme will formally link residents with police in improving speeding detection rates.
TfL has also set a 26 October 2020 deadline for HGV operators to meet new driver vision standards to avoid blind spot accidents. Vehicles must achieve a minimum rating to be allowed on London's roads. A new bus safety standard, using intelligent speed assistance and compliance technology, aims to reduce collisions with other vehicles.
A Glasgow City Council spokesperson told Transport Network: 'As part of our aim to reduce carbon emissions, we are investing heavily in active travel to ensure that walking and cycling are as safe as other modes of transport. We are giving priority to reducing fatal, serious and slight injuries on our roads'.
Sustrans' director Dr Andy Cope sees the initiative reinforcing its 'Paths for Everyone' programme, aimed at achieving a nationwide network of traffic-free routes.
'Safety', he told Transport Network, 'is critical for the delivery of sustainable transport, and anything that helps is positive'.
He also stressed the importance of fairness – 'road accidents tend to happen more often in deprived areas. The paradigm is very useful in enabling us to swap ideas and experience with partners elsewhere in Europe'.