Sunday 18 April 2010

More misleading analysis from Transport for London

The spokesperson concludes, "Since 2000, there has been a 21% fall in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London’s roads, compared to the mid to late 1990s. At the same time, there has been a 107% increase in the number of cycle journeys made on London’s roads in the past decade.

In the first place, anybody can cherrypick road casualty statistics to come up with the conclusion that suits them. The only valid comparison for the period 2000-2009 would be the stats for the period 1990-1999. The fact that TfL isn’t using them indicates a desire to massage the results.

Secondly, TfL prefers to leave out less serious injuries from its analysis, again from a desire to present a rosy picture of cycling in London. And once you go down the scale of injury, it’s known that the official stats are a serious underestimate compared with hospital admissions figures.

Thirdly, as this blog never tires of pointing out, casualty figures bear no relation to exposure to risk. In a capital city where huge numbers of drivers are steering with one hand while talking into handheld mobile phones – car drivers, van drivers and lorry drivers – the risks to cyclists have massively increased since the 1990s. On the other hand figures for fatalities and serious injuries may fall not because the roads are safer but because traffic jams, congestion and low vehicle speeds result in less serious consequences from a collision.

Fourthly, it’s garbage to say that “there has been a 107% increase in the number of cycle journeys made on London’s roads in the past decade” because TfL has never measured cycling on all London’s roads, only on a tiny fraction of one per cent of London’s roads.

Spin like this evades the reality that cycling to school continues to plummet in London because parents correctly perceive the roads as far too dangerous for their children to use.

As for the claim that The safety of London’s cyclists is a huge priority for both the Mayor and TfL and we are committed to making cycling in London as safe as possible.

That’s tosh because Boris stopped the funding for the Met’s lorry enforcement unit. TfL is a toxic car-centric organisation and absolutely no friend of the pedestrian or the cyclist. Even something as rudimentary as Advanced Stop Lines continue not to be enforced, and no one from TfL or the Mayor’s office has a word to say.