Head of Traffic
gave a presentation to the Committee, a copy of which is interleaved, and responded to questions. The main
points were as follows:
· Vision Zero aims to reduce road danger, working towards the elimination of road traffic deaths and serious injuries by reducing the dominance of motor vehicles on London’s streets.
· London remains at the forefront of this approach, with the Mayor of London setting out his goal to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network by 2041.
· Members were informed that achieving Vision Zero in Islington is set out in both the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero Action Plan and the draft Islington Transport Strategy. It supports promoting or introducing safe speeds, creating safe streets, introducing safe vehicles and changing behaviour. Members were advised that the Draft Islington Transport Strategy had been out for public consultation in the summer of 2019.
· With regard to safe speeds, the meeting was informed that the aim is to maintain a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit; working with the police to enforce and raise awareness, and to continue to campaign for a change in legislation to allow local authorities to enforce speed offences and other unsafe driving which is presently the sole responsibility the Police.
· On the issue of safe streets, the Council aims to target action against the sources of road danger, including enforcing existing weight restrictions on Islington Roads. Other initiatives will include banning lorries and HGV’s weighing 7.5 tonnes or more; improving safety at dangerous junctions and seeking opportunities for transformational changes at key junctions.
· The meeting was advised that initiatives such as reducing the danger posed by lorries through the implementation of Direct Vision Standards for HGVs over 12 tonnes and gaining Freight Operator Recognition Scheme accreditation for the Council’s fleet will ensure that safe vehicles ply Islington Roads. In terms of safe behaviour, the Council will continue to offer free cycling training to all Islington residents including school children, and deliver school streets or similar interventions at all schools in the borough so as to encourage walking and cycling.
· In terms of implementing safe speeds, Islington is the first London borough to have 20mph speed limit on borough roads which is enforced by the police since 2014. Members were advised that although the Council has 19 fixed speed cameras in place to enforce the 20mph speed limit, it is only the police that can enforce any breach. Members were informed of the Mayor of London’s commitment to introduce the 20mph speed limit on all roads managed by TFL in Islington by 2024, which was to be welcomed Martijn Cooijmans said.
· Actions to implement safe streets include the removal of some of London’s gyratory road schemes such as the Archway gyratory, Highbury Corner and the Old Street roundabout. Members were advised that feasibility studies are presently underway in conjunction with Transport for London on the Kings Cross gyratory and the Nag’s Head gyratory. Additional initiatives to improve streets have been to implement 13 School streets in the borough with plans to consult on another 4. School streets involves temporarily closing roads to become a pedestrian and cycle zone during the school’s opening and closing times all to improve safety, reduce air pollution and encourage walking.
· Members were advised of local safety schemes, where data collected will be used to address locations with the highest collisions. The Council is also undertaking parking reviews of junctions by removing obstacles so as to reduce collision and accidents to pedestrians and cyclists.
· With regards to enforcing the lorry ban, the meeting was informed that in addition to other initiatives planned, over 60% of Islington streets currently have width restrictions to deter large vehicles with a view that it will address safety concerns and prevent rat runs in neighbourhoods.
· A suggestion to remove the number of parking spaces, especially on main roads, considering the majority of collisions tend to occur there was noted.
In response to a question from a member of the
public that the Council’s language would need to be changed from Road Safety to Road Vehicle
Reduction Team, the Manager informed the meeting that this change
is reflected in the Transport Strategy.
The Chair thanked the Manager for his update on Council’s plans to address all incidents relating to road and pedestrian safety.