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April WLS newsletter published

April 4, 2018

Dear Wandsworth Living Streets supporters

In my previous email to you a couple of weeks ago (21 March) about the May 3 local elections, I spoke too soon.  Spring had not made its appearance at last! Rather, the day or two of good weather was merely to bluff us into thinking Winter wouldn’t put in another showing! So here is to hoping warmer days are really about to arrive later this week. At least it isn’t snowing with us in London!

Southfields

What are your TOP THREE priorities for environmental issues you want Wandsworth Council to take action on after the Elections?

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (London section) (CPRE) is asking all of us to fill in a Survey where you indicate your top 3 priorities for the environment which you would like our Council to act on. It literally takes only a minute, as I discovered when I did it.  Please do the Surveyhttps://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QNTYWPG

Car Club Membership in our Borough

Here’s some good news.[1]

  • Car Club membership in our borough of Wandsworth is at an all-time high – some 14,000 of us now belong to car clubs.
  • What’s more, Car Club membership in Wandsworth is the highest in all London.

And let’s remember:  the more people who don’t buy their own car but join a Car Club instead, the fewer vehicles clog up our streets (where they spend 90-95% of their time parked). And that means also a little less congestion for those who still use their car for work or other purposes.

And let’s not forget the even more gigantic contribution to our street environment made by the nearly half (45%) of Wandsworth households who do not own a car at all.[2]

 

Nevertheless 87,000 vehicles are still registered in the Borough. There is still a long way to go if we are to tackle poor air quality and serious congestion by persuading many more Wandsworth residents to do their health a favour, and walk or cycle short trips and use public transport for longer trips and the daily commute.

 

Collision and Road Injury Statistics in our Borough – the latest figures

Now, the not so good news. Road traffic collision figures for 2016 have recently become available. It can be misleading to look at the figures for just one year. So here is our analysis for the 4-year period – 2012-2016.[3] (The figures for 2014 contain various errors; so are omitted from this analysis.) Here are the headlines:

Numbers of Persons injured on all roads in the Borough of Wandsworth, 2012-2016

  • Total Number of persons Injured (slightly and seriously): in those 4 years, the number of persons injured on our roads averaged 1,077 each year. That means an average of 3 persons injured every day.
  • Number of persons Killed or Seriously Injured (KSIs): In those 4 years, the number of KSIs averaged 95 a year. That means an average of nearly 2 persons Killed or Seriously injured every week.

Who is at most risk of being Killed or Seriously Injured in our Borough?[4]

The startling truth is that the safest place to be on our streets is inside a motor car.

Here is what it is like for everyone else:

  • Motor Cyclists: They comprise 38% of all KSIs. Riding a motor cycle remains the most dangerous way of moving about on our streets.
  • Cyclists: 29% of all KSIs in the Borough were on a bicycle at the time of the collision.
  • Pedestrians: 24% of KSIs were people on foot.
  • BUT inside a motor car: only 6% of KSIs.

On which roads are collisions most likely to occur?

Here things get a little complicated. As most of you know, fewer than one in 10 roads in Wandsworth are managed by Transport for London (TfL).  But they tend to be the big arterial routes and carry most traffic.

Wandsworth Council manages another 38 so-called A and B roads. They tend to be rather important routes for getting across the Borough. They still have a 30mph speed limit. But they are almost all ‘mixed use’ streets. Many residents live along them. Nearly 30 educational establishments (mostly schools) are located on them. And because they host the borough’s secondary shopping locations, they have disproportionately large numbers of pedestrians on their pavements.

Here are the figures:

  • Tfl-managed roads in our borough are where over half (52%) of all people injured occur; as well as over half (54%) of all persons Killed or Seriously Injured.
  • Wandsworth Council’s 38 A and B roads are where another quarter (28%) of total numbers of people injured occur; and over one quarter (29%) of all persons Killed or Seriously Injured.
  • The huge number of our 20mph roads only account for one-fifth (20%) of total numbers injured; and less than a fifth (17%) of all persons Killed or Seriously Injured.

What this means for our Road Safety

If we are to get further big reductions in the numbers of people injured in collisions on our roads, two priorities need to concentrated on. Firstly, Wandsworth Council and we, the public, must press Transport for London to take much more vigorous Road Safety measures on its roads, including lowering the speed limit on many of them, to 20mph.

Secondly, Wandsworth Council must examine each of its 38 A & B roads and take more effective measures, including lowering the speed limit on all stretches running past schools, or through significant shopping areas, and high concentrations of people living.

 

The 3 May Elections – more news next week

I will be sending you more news about the Wandsworth Council elections next week.

With best wishes.

Robert Molteno

(Secretary, Wandsworth Living Streets)

 

[1] Wandsworth Council press release, 24 Feb. 2017.

[2] http://ww3.wandsworth.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s27249/13-297%20Census%20Highlights%20April%202013.pdf

 

[3] Compiled with the help of Jeremy Leach of 20sPlenty for London. The figures for 2014 contain various errors; so are omitted from this analysis.

[4] Analysis by I & M Campbell, http://www.travelindependent.org.uk/area_116.html

 

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