Road safety improvements to make town centres safer for pedestrians

16 July 2015
"Town centres are the heart of London's communities, which is why they should be inviting and safe places for pedestrians to get around"

 Funding of between £2m to 5m is to be invested in both Tooting and Peckham as part of new pilot pedestrian town centre improvement programmes. The aim is to help redesign junctions, streets and pavements to make them safer for pedestrians and raise awareness of safety issues among all road users.

The investment is part of TfL's continuing programme to make the Capital's roads safer and more pleasant for pedestrians, and comes as analysis shows that around 20% of all the collisions where pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in London between 2011 and 2013 occurred in town centres.

The centrepieces of these new pilots will be major pedestrian improvements centred on the Tooting Broadway junction and a number of locations in Peckham town centre - making the areas more accessible, more pleasant and safer for all. All local schools in the areas will also be encouraged to give their pupils pedestrian education and training. TfL and the boroughs plan to begin consulting with local residents and key stakeholders on designs and strategies for these areas later this year.

The project will begin in the autumn, with an action plan developed by the end of the year. After consultation and feasibility studies, it will then be delivered by the end of the financial year 2017/18.

The results, successes and any other lessons learned during the trials will be provided to all boroughs across London to help improve safety across the Capital.

Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring said: `Town centres are the heart of London's communities, which is why they should be inviting and safe places for pedestrians to get around. These pilots will see targeted investment that is aimed squarely at improving conditions and safety for pedestrians in Tooting and Peckham. We look forward to learning from them to see how we can bring similar benefits to other town centres across London.'

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: `London's town centres are vital parts of our communities and the Capital's economy, but are also where a large number of pedestrian injuries occur. Redesigning junctions in these two areas will help to improve safety for thousands of Londoners, and will make these town centres more inviting spaces for all.'

Jack Skillen, London Director at Living Streets, said: `London is a world leading city and a great place to live but it will only stay that way if our town centres are safe and vibrant places for people to walk in. The more people walking through high streets, the more money is spent, which makes an important contribution to the local economy. Currently, many town centres are unsafe and unwelcoming for pedestrians, so it's great to see pilot projects in Tooting and Peckham making town centres safer and more attractive.

'We want to see high streets become a safe heart of the local community so that more people enjoy walking through them, whether for work or leisure. Other London boroughs must learn from these new pilots and put people first.'

Cllr Jonathan Cook, Wandsworth Council's transport spokesman, said: `This is fantastic news for Tooting and will be warmly welcomed by local people. The town centre is a fantastic, vibrant place but there is plenty of room for improvement at this very busy junction.

`We will be working closely with our colleagues at TfL to develop the designs and will ensure they complement our long term plans for improving Mitcham Road. Developing a truly pedestrian friendly environment is key to the town centre's health and helping us unlock its full potential in the years ahead.'

Cllr Darren Merrill, cabinet member for environment and public realm at Southwark Council, said: `We welcome any improvements that benefit our town centres and make our streets safer. There is a lot going on in Peckham to make it a more attractive destination for visitors, as well as for people living and working there, and a big part of that will be making the area easier and safer to navigate on foot, as well as a more pleasant place to walk through. We look forward to working with the community to deliver these objectives.'

These planned improvements form part of TfL's wider commitment to encourage more people to regularly walk around London. Research suggests that, alongside significant health benefits, reduced congestion and better air quality, walking is good for local economies - with those who walk to town centres spending more than other people arriving by different transport services.

Other ongoing improvement work by TfL across London includes:

  • Major junction improvements underway at Elephant & Castle, Oval and Stockwell, with work to radically improve the area around Archway and Old Street due to begin next year
  • Upgrading junctions with state of the art traffic signals that have pedestrian countdown timers to make it clearer how much time is left to safely cross the road
  • Working closely with London boroughs to provide financial support for schemes and major projects that will enhance the public realm, particularly in town centres, and create streets that are safer and more enjoyable to walk through
  • More than 1,450 Legible London signs, providing walking information to help people understand their immediate environment more easily, have been installed across the capital since 2007. TfL is keen to work with local councils, Network Rail and others such as private developers to expand the use of these signs in the coming years to further encourage walking

For more information about how TfL is working to improve pedestrian safety across London, please visit .

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

  • Tooting and Peckham were chosen as locations for the Pedestrian Town Centre Pilots following data analysis of pedestrian casualties and consideration of existing initiatives. A shortlist of town centres was compiled based on high absolute numbers of pedestrian KSIs and also high pedestrian KSI risk (KSIs per billion km walked). Existing initiatives in the shortlisted town centres were taken into account. For example, town centres with significant infrastructure changes already planned were removed from the shortlist.
  • Milestones for the project:
  • Commence strategy development - autumn 2015
    Report findings and action plans - end of 2015
    Consultations and feasibility studies - late 2015 /early 2016
    Project to be delivered by end of financial year - 2017/18
In 2013 the Mayor and TfL published Safe Streets for London - an ambitious and comprehensive plan to make the roads safer for everyone who uses them. This includes a road safety target for London to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads by half by 2020, compared to the Government baseline.

TfL's Pedestrian research can be downloaded here:

London's first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan was published in July last year to address the concerns and challenges faced by pedestrians across London, helping to turn the Capital's streets into a safer, more pleasant place for all. It outlined 31 key actions to directly target the key factors in collisions involving pedestrians and help further reduce casualties across London.

Earlier this year, TfL also outlined eight locations on the TfL Road Network where trials of 20mph speed limits will be carried out to help reduce road casualties, increase active travel and enhance the areas where people live, work and shop.

Last month, TfL published the 2014 Road Casualties and Collisions report which showed that KSIs in London were at their lowest record ever during 2014: February 2014, the Mayor and TfL published six safety commitments, which supports the Safe Streets for London plan to reduce further the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads and bring focus to the range of actions needed by us and our partners to make our streets safer:

  • The six key commitments are:
  1. To lead the way in achieving a 50% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the capital's roads by 2020 - with a longer term ambition of freeing London's roads from death and serious injury.
  2. To prioritise safety of the most vulnerable groups - pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists - which make up 80% of serious and fatal collisions.
  3. To provide substantial funding for road safety, invested in the most effective and innovative schemes.
  4. To increase efforts with the police and enforcement agencies in tackling illegal, dangerous and careless road user behaviour that puts people at risk.
  5. To campaign for changes in national and EU law to make roads, vehicles and drivers safe.
  6. To work in partnership with boroughs and London's road safety stakeholders to spread best practice and share data and information.