Financial Times CEO backs segregated cycle routes in central London

The Financial Times Group has joined over 110 leading financial_times_logoLondon businesses today in backing the new North – South and East – West Cycle Superhighways.

With 1500 employees in London, the group provides essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community and have been based in London for over 126 years.

Financial Times CEO, John Ridding, shared the following with Transport for London yesterday:

Dear Transport for London,

Financial Times is a leading media business based in Southwark. We provide essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community and have been based in London for over 126 years.

Like many businesses, a growing number of our 1500 employees in London cycle to work. An even larger proportion of our team would cycle to the office if they felt comfortable and safe on the roads.

We value their safety and we want to promote active lifestyles for all our employees. We support their freedom to choose how they get to work. We also note strong evidence that more cycling increases spending in local retail businesses and lowers air pollution levels.

The proposed north–south and east–west routes will help us attract and retain the employees our business needs to continue to thrive. They will also make London a more attractive city in which to build and run our business.

‘Crossrail for Bikes’ is great for our business and for London. Please make sure these plans are delivered, without delay.

Kind regards,ridding-decoder-articleInline
John Ridding

Financial Times

3 thoughts on “Financial Times CEO backs segregated cycle routes in central London

  1. You might also press TfL (and London Boroughs) by way of more immediate delivery to properly fulfill the mandates of Section 39 RTA 1988 which states very clearly thet as roads authority/ies rhey MUST investigate road crashes (39.3.a), and (here’s the badly flawed bit) they MUST from those investigations, plan changes to current roads and design of future roads to improve safety (39.3.b) and the MUST use this information to develop road safety strategies and campaigns (39.2.a).

    Unlike the rail industry where an independent investogation unit delivers objective and impartial investigations which are PUBLISHED to provide public knowledge and to inform the rail regularo of action to take with rail operators and rail infrastructure providers, the workings and outcomes from Section 39 have to be prised out, and frankly are a disappointing mess, of frequently useless listings of crashes and locations. In many cases you would see better work from a 6th form A level project.

    The contrast in results is equally stark, our national rail, air and maritime transport regulators are, with these investgation reports, able to consistently deliver Vision Zero – where a passenger death in any one year is a rarity, yet on London’s roads we shrug our shoulders and watch the toll mount naievely accepting that “it happens”. Well chum it does not have to “happen”. As an example and borrowing the line from Oscar Wilde “To have one fatal crash is unfortunate, to have more than just one other fatal crash in the same circumstances (and locations) seems culpably careless” and in London we are doing just that.

    The Camden Coroner has pushed the envelope but without the benefit of an expert and impartial investigation unit to inform her, the results may be limited. At the junction of Vernion Place and Southampton Row, the DRIVERS of large vehicles making left turns from the far right side of the carriageway have killed 2 cyclists in near identical circumstances in just 5 years. The corner has an angle of over 90 degrees to turn and the kerb radius is just 4 metres – the design MINIMUM to accommodate safe left turns by large vehicles is 6 metres. There is now a precedent following the killing of Ellie Carey by a left turning truck on Tower Bridge Road to ban left turns where this hazard exists. The immediate action at Vernon Place SHOULD be to ban this left turn for large vehicles, and even block it by placing a traffic island in the way to prevent left turns which cannot be made from the nearside lane. the left turn for lareg vehicles can be delivered by continuing over the junction and via Theobalds Road, Proctor Street and High Holborn, making 3 right turns, a detail deliverable NOW with minimal construction and the cost of promoting a Traffic Regulation Order to make it enforcable by law. What is there that stops Camden and TfL from delivering this?

    Analysing those crashes it soon becomes apparent that they are just two examples of the same type of crash that killed Richard Muzira, Ellie Carey, Alex McVitty and several others. Indeed from the limited information available about the 2 fatal crashes, both involving 4-axle demountable skip trucks and both left turning moves at the same junction of Farringdon Road/New Bridge Street and Fleet Street/Ludgate Hill there are clear indications from vehicle position that the left turns were made by the driver in the outer lane (signed for travelling straight ahead), or from the far right side of the nearside lane.

    As a matter of urgency I call on TfL to review all major junctions on their roads network and identify those where the driver of a large vehicle WILL be over and not travelling in the nearside lane, to make a left turn. By definition such a move, made deliberately and using the threat of a collision with their vehicle to force priority over traffic travelling with bona fide priority on the nearside lane to severely alter course or speed fits exactly the criteria for a charge of dangerous driving. Will you back me in this?


  2. PS most of your subscribers will be aware of the Health & Safety at Work act and the clear requirements for due diligence right down the contractual chain from principal client to the sub contractors delivering the work to provide the duty of care to all including non employees. HSC, as the Rail, Air, and Maritime regulators uses published objective investigations to review dangerous incidents and from that mandates employers to take appropriate action, and prosecutes for major breaches – under section 3 from non employee incidents.

    We lack that chain of culpability for a lot of the deaths and injuries taking place on the roads network. In retail logistics many of the in livery trucks are provides to the retailer by logistics companies, some even sub contracting further to local operators, and frequently selected on price and performance, but an undefined caveat on measurement of safety performance and compliance with traffic legislation. Whilst the contract may SAY the contractor and sub contractor take responsibility, there is an ultra vires responsibility right up that chain, and a corporate liability when the truck in your brand livery is at the dentre of a fatal crash. One damning example was the Homebase truck, provided by Kuhne & Nagel, whre the driver hit and killed a cyclist in Wakefield, and diverted 30 miles ot a place where he couold remove the wreckage of the bike from the running gear and dump it by the roadside. The story covered the driver but did not ask how someone with those standards was employed and managed to attempt to evade the law after a hit & run crash. In a more recent event 2 riders were killed on the A30 in Cornwall, by a driver who was wiorking on a night trunk service for Lidl supermarkets, who directly or indirectly had place the work with a local Cornish operator. The driver was dangerously tired, and drove through the cyclists, and 11 weeks later, on bail for the fatal crash did exactly the same thing to a light van, only by luck not killing its driver. That truck driver was fatigued because he was also working a day shift, maintaining trucks for the same company that he drove for at night, making the company complicit in the fatal crash. This was fortunately recognised by the regulator (the Traffic Commissioner (Western Area) who, after a hearing, revoked the Operator’s licence. However a new operation with a similar name still operates from the same town having been reformed with new management.

    In London a similar battle ferments as Tom Kearney, who miraculously survived a bus crash in Oxford Street, tackles the chain of contract between TfL and their bus contractors and the similar pressures set by contractual demands for performance and ethical demands for safety in operation. Buses on a per vehicle per year basis have the highest ‘hit’ rate for pedestrians than any other category of vehicle, with TfL’s contracted fleet of 8500 buses putting over 3 people per day in hospital through impacts and falls on or from the bus. Tom as a former CEO of a mining operation notes that if his safety record in a mine was as poor as that for TfL’s bus operation he would have been in jail in an instant. Even a cursory review of incidents shows that some operators are delivering on incident per quarter for every 19-20 buses on a TfL contract, yet others have either a nil return on some quarters, or manage 1 casualty for every 78-80 buses they operate on TfL routes. The questions on why we have such a disparity are not being answered or delivered by openly available data


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