Pedal Cyclist Fatalities in London: Analysis of Police Collision Files (2007-2011)

UCL & Loughborough University
Publication date: 
September 2014

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The objective of this research report is to support the development of the forthcoming Cycle Safety Action Plan being prepared by Transport for London to be published in 2014. TfL wished to improve the understanding of the factors which lead to collisions involving fatally injured cyclists and those with life-changing injuries. The research focussed on an in-depth analysis of collisions that occurred between 2007 – 2011 when there were 79 fatal and life threatening collisions involving cyclists of which 53 were available for analysis.

This report presents an analysis of the key risk factors that contributed to the collisions and it identifies a set of countermeasures to improve cyclist safety. These were then evaluated according to the number of applicable crashes and evidence found in effectiveness studies. The availability of robust effectiveness studies was found to be limited, partly due to the lack of exposure data and partly due to the difficulties in evaluating some kinds of measures. The main recommendations are below. These are mainly based on the evidence available from the analysis of the sample of fatal and life threatening crashes and additional evidence from effectiveness studies was taken into account where available. The recommendations included are for various parties to take forward. These organisations include central Government, Transport for London, local authorities, the police, vehicle manufacturers and cycle training organisations.

Recommendations for cycling infrastructure

  • Identify and implement best international practice in cycle infrastructure and work towards emulating it within the UK legal, regulatory and behavioural context

  • Design road infrastructure with an emphasis on cyclists’ needs and aim for a world leading provision

  • In addition to providing for safer, more comfortable cycling on main roads, expand and connect the network of dedicated cycle routes away from heavily trafficked roads and ensure they connect to key destinations

  • Establish criteria for when to separate cycle and motorised traffic. This guidance should include reference to traffic flows and speed and indicate where complete segregation in space or time is appropriate

  • Establish guidance on carriageway and lane widths that avoid creating pinch points for cyclists

  • Introduce advanced signal phasing or infrastructure for cyclists to give segregation in time or space at junctions 

  • Support proposals for changes to regulations that allow cyclists to cross the first stop line at Advance Stop Lines (ASLs) at any point