Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Response from Transport for London



  This document represents the response of Transport for London to the Pedestrian Protection Consultation issued by the DTLR on 3 September.


  Transport for London regards reducing pedestrian casualties as a high priority. The Mayor's Transport Strategy adopts as a target a reduction in pedestrian killed and seriously injured casualties of 40 per cent by the year 2010.

  In 2000 in London 140 fatalities from road crashes were pedestrians out of a total 284 fatalities—almost half. Fatal and serious pedestrian casualties made up 30 per cent of the total fatal and serious casualties from road crashes.

  The crash records for 1999 for London show that cars were involved in 73 per cent of all road incidents that involved a pedestrian casualty.

  The majority of the pedestrian casualties occurred on roads with 30mph speed limits. It is under these lower speed situations that improving the front of vehicles is likely to have the most benefit for reducing deaths and severe injuries for pedestrians.

  These figures show that there is scope to make a significant reduction in the total number of killed and seriously injured casualties from road crashes in London through improving the front of cars.

  Improvements to the front of cars could also benefit cyclists by reducing the severity of their injuries when struck by a car. The Mayor's Transport Strategy seeks to increase the extent of walking and cycling and improved safety for both these categories of road users will be invaluable.

  It can be seen from the above that safer car fronts for pedestrians, that could also be of benefit to cyclists, are of vital importance for the Mayor and Transport for London.


  Transport for London opposes the draft voluntary agreement because it does not offer an equivalent level of protection compared with the four tests required by the European Enhanced Vehicle-safety Committee (EEVC) methods.

  The voluntary agreement is likely to lead to fewer and weaker tests and result in vehicles that cause greater injuries and deaths to pedestrians in London that would arise if vehicles were designed to meet the full test standards.

  It is not clear what sanctions can be applied to such a voluntary agreement, and what confidence can be placed on the manufacturers not amending and further weakening the proposals.

  The success of the Honda Civic in meeting 70 per cent of the EEVC test requirements for pedestrians now shows that real progress can be achieved quickly and without undue costs.

  The voluntary agreement proposes that all new cars will meet the Phase 1 tests by 2012. It is forecast that these Phase 1 tests will be only 50 per cent as effective in reducing fatalities as the full tests devised by the EEVC. This is inadequate and appears to be a retrograde step in comparison with what Honda has already achieved.

  With the exception of the Honda Civic the European can industry has not acted voluntarily to provide safer car fronts for pedestrians and cyclists despite the available information on the injury problem.

  This is such an important matter for London that TfL believe that the full power of the EC should be brought to bear to ensure that new cars satisfy the four EEVC tests by 2008 at the latest.

  The case for adopting a traditional European Parliament and Council Directive for achieving safer car fronts has been well made by the European Transport Safety Council and this position is fully supported by Transport for London.

  If the challenging targets set by the Government to reduce the number of deaths and injury are to be met it is vitally important that the car industry is seen to be playing an active role in contributing to this challenge, sooner rather than later, by adopting proven design standards, that provide improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

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