Vision Zero, the road traffic safety project which has been adopted by many local authorities across the UK, has come under fire from the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD).
The ABD have branded Vision Zero a "counter-productive road safety fantasy”, as the project seeks to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic.
In 2018, London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched the Vision Zero strategy to reduce road casualties in the capital, however it has emerged that road casualty figures for the same year have increased.
Vision Zero is a key part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, with the aim of getting more people walking and cycling.
However, data shows that those killed or seriously injured (KSIs) on London’s roads in 2018 have increased by 5% to 4,065.
Data also shows that in the same time period cyclist fatalities rose by 20% to 12, and serious injuries to cyclists increased by 14% to 770.
The ABD have said that the trend in London in relation to those killed or seriously injured mirrors the data for the national average where road deaths have plateaued in recent years.
The motoring group submitted their evidence to Parliament’s Road Safety Transport Committee in April 2019.
They have expressed concerns in relation to the call for lower speed limits and more enforcement, arguing that the focus on simplistic solutions cannot and will not work to cut the number of deaths and injuries on the capital’s roads.
Another concern raised by the ABD is that because of the rise and expansion of the cycling community, one of the unintended consequences of the policy is the rise in KSIs within that group of road users.
The ABD said: "The policy was introduced with the best of intentions to improve the health of the population.
"In London enormous expenditure on Cycle Superhighways and cycle lanes of other kinds has been incurred in the last few years. This was justified on improving cycle safety but in reality the impact is not apparent. The encouragement of cycling may have actually made the road casualty statistics worse."
They added: "With the appointment of Andrew Gilligan as a transport advisor to our new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who as former London Cycling Commissioner under Boris was a big contributor to the growth of cycling in the capital and what many argue is the wasted expenditure on Cycle Superhighways, will we see the same defective policies being spread across the country?"
The ABD are arguing that there should be a greater focus on both road user education and road engineering.
Image Source: Geograph (main photo)
Image Author: Stephen Craven
Image Source: ABD (insert)