"We have bold ambitions to make London's roads safer for everyone, and the high rates of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on our roads is an absolute tragedy"
  • Three new training courses launched to improve the skills and confidence of motorcyclists including delivery riders
  • TfL and the Mayor to lobby the Government to take more action to improve rider safety

Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London have launched a range of new measures to raise standards within the motorcycle delivery industry, while also improving the confidence and skills of the Capital's motorcyclists.

The move is part of TfL and the Mayor's Vision Zero approach to eliminating death and serious injury from collisions on the Capital's roads by 2041. Figures published by TfL last month1 show that motorcycle riders and their pillions accounted for 27 per cent of serious injuries and 28 per cent of all road fatalities in the Capital during 2016, despite making up just two per cent of road traffic.

TfL is working closely with the motorcycle delivery and courier industry in a pioneering move to explore the expansion of the existing Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) to include those companies which use motorcycles in London. The voluntary standard has been successfully used in the haulage industry since 2011 to promote safety, efficiency and environmental best practice, awarding companies Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditations depending on the standard achieved.

TfL is the first organisation in the country to work with the industry to create a recognised standard for motorcycle delivery companies. This standard will cover areas such as management, operations, vehicles and drivers, and companies will be audited on factors including vehicle maintenance, rider training and good operations.

Alongside the development of the FORS accreditation, TfL has created three new training courses for motorcyclists in the Capital, which boost rider confidence, skills and knowledge before and after Compulsory Basic Training (CBT):

  • Preparing for your CBT: a short, free online course aimed at new and young riders, which includes essential riding theory and key elements of The Highway Code
  • Beyond CBT: Skills for Delivery Riders: a one-day post CBT top-up course fully funded by TfL which teaches riders more about the Highway Code, how to secure and ride with a load, plan routes, make safe deliveries and carry out routine maintenance checks on their motorcycle
  • 1-2-1 Motorcycle Skills: a free, two-hour, tailor-made one-to-one session with a qualified instructor. Aimed at commuters and those who ride lower capacity motorcycles, riders can use the session to improve confidence on a particular route, such as home to work

To improve the standard of motorcycling and training further, TfL will also lobby the government for changes in the way motorcyclists are licensed and support the Motorcycle Industry Association's training provider accreditation scheme.

This could include looking at whether a theory test and hazard perception test could be made mandatory before a driver's Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), and ensuring all instructors have the necessary formal qualifications.

Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:

'We have bold ambitions to make London's roads safer for everyone, and the high rates of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on our roads is an absolute tragedy.

'Through our pioneering Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme we are working with the industry to improve safety and drive up standards for all riders, and we are determined to increase the quality and availability of training that riders can receive.

'But there's still more we need to do, which is why alongside TfL the Mayor will be lobbying the Government to follow our lead and do more to improve the safety of every road user in London.'

Lilli Matson, TfL's Director of Transport Strategy, said:

'It is unacceptable that there are disproportionately high numbers of motorcyclists involved in fatal and serious collisions. As part of our Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger, our new measures will work alongside wider efforts to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions on London's roads which include education, enforcement and infrastructure improvements.'

Justin Gilbert, Pizza Hut Delivery's Director of Operations, said:

'We are delighted to be working with TfL to develop a new FORS standard for delivery companies and fully support any initiatives which promote safety and raise standards. Road safety is paramount to Pizza Hut UK and we dedicate a huge amount of investment, time and training into ensuring our delivery drivers meet our high standards. By working together, we can continue to make our roads safer.'

Dan Warne, Deliveroo's General Manager for UK and Ireland, said:

'It is fantastic that TfL is working with businesses of all models to strengthen safety for road users. Road safety is of the utmost importance to Deliveroo and we regularly work with experts to improve kit and our online training standards. We look forward to exploring how we can go even further to ensure riders are safe.'

Alison Gowman, City of London Corporation representative on the London Road Safety Council and Chair of the Active City Network, said:

'The numbers of those killed or seriously injured in the City of London are among the lowest in the Capital, which is in part due to a dedicated Road Danger Reduction team, a City-wide 20-mile an hour speed limit and training offered to motorcyclists.

'However, with motorcycles accounting for 10 per cent of traffic in the City, yet 25 per cent of those killed or seriously injured involve motorcyclists, the numbers are still too high. This is why we are delighted to endorse this new initiative and look forward to working with partners in meeting Vision Zero. More training for motorcyclists is certainly a positive step towards that.'

Kevin Richardson Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)'s Chief Executive, said:

'The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, as the professional membership body for those involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains, is supportive of initiatives that raise standards for those operating within the profession. We are delighted to see that TfL recognises the growth in the use of motorbikes for freight deliveries and fully support the launch of a scheme that is focused on improving safety amongst motorbike users.'

Karen Cole, MCIA Director of Safety and Training, said:

'Deliveries made on powered two wheelers help reduce congestion for all Londoners and therefore improving the safety of riders is critically important. Making additional training available with accredited motorcycle training schools is a big step in the right direction and we are delighted to be involved in this project.'

Anna Zee, BMF's Director of Political and Technical Services, said:

'The British Motorcyclists Federation welcomes the initiative shown by TfL ‎in setting up these training opportunities for riders in London. We look forward to encouraging take-up.'

TfL is working to improve safety on London's roads through:

  • Increasing the number of pedestrian crossings that have 'Pedestrian Countdown' from 400 in September 2015 to over 800 today
  • Developing a world leading bus safety standard for London, which includes the latest safety technologies and products to help avoid and reduce the impact of collisions involving buses
  • Creating a Direct Vision Standard for Heavy Goods Vehicles to improve vehicle safety
  • Working closely with boroughs to implement 20mph speed limits in the Capital, as well as piloting 20mph speed limits on parts of the Transport for London Road Network
  • Dedicated traffic police in London ‎running regular operations targeting risky behaviour and vehicle safety for all forms of transport
  • Published the first Urban Motorcycle Design Handbook to help engineers design safe roads for motorcyclists


Notes to Editors:

  • 1 The Casualties in Greater London during 2016 report can be found here: tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/road-safety
  • Further information on FORS can be found here: fors-online.org.uk/cms/
  • Other rider courses already offered:
  • BikeSafe-London: A one-day course offered across London and aimed at those who ride higher powered motorcycles. Attracting approximately 1,600 riders a year, riders learn from professional police motorcycle riders during observed rides and receive a presentation about hazard perception, causes of crashes and improving rider visibility.
  • Biker Down: A free, one-day course run by the London Fire Bridge which teaches motorcyclists how to help a fellow rider in the event of a collision while the emergency services are on route. Sessions include life-saving skills, how to treat bleeding and the safe removal of a helmet
  • Further details on TfL motorcycle courses can be found here: tfl.gov.uk/motorcycling
  • Photos from the launch event will be available from TfL's Flickr page