LRSC Centenary Conference as it happened

LRSC audience

A recap of the London Road Safety Council’s Centenary Conference, ‘Safer Cities, Safer Futures’, which took place at the Guildhall, City of London, on 24 January.

  • ‘Safer Cities, Safer Futures’ celebrated 100 years of the LRSC
  • 180+ delegates attended
  • Click here to view the agenda
  • Click here to read more about the LRSC’s history

This page does not automatically update. Please click here to refresh and see the latest entries.

15.30Detective chief superintendent Paul Rickett, Metropolitan Police Service

Detective chief superintendent Paul Rickett talks about the work of the Met Police’s Roads and Transport Policing Command.

Paul Rickett

Summary: The Roads and Transport Policing Command oversees policing on London’s road and transport network. It works in partnership with, and is significantly funded by, Transport for London to tackle transport related crime, improve road safety, reduce the number of traffic related injuries and deaths on London’s roads.

This presentation will provide an overview of the role of the Roads and Transport Policing Command in the Transport for London partnership for casualty reduction. It will also report on progress since the Mayoral target was set, and plans for the future.

Soundbites from presentation:

  • Unique road safety partnership, probably globally
  • Largest policing services contract in Western Europe
  • Target 50% reduction in KSIs by 2020 – currently at 42%
  • Digital recording of collisions started in Oct 2016…led to significant rises in SI category due to improved data collection
  • 70% of uninsured drivers have a criminal record
  • Safe Drive, Stay Alive – one of the most moving experiences of my career
  • Rate your parents driving – initiative in Enfield

15.00 Cllr Heather Acton, cabinet member for sustainability & parking, Westminster City Council

Cllr Heather Acton explains how her borough has managed to incorporate road safety in public realm improvements.

Heather Acton

Summary: In July 2016 Westminster City Council won funding to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) in Marylebone. The purpose is to trial innovative ideas to reduce the number of vehicles and improve air quality.

The presentation will consider the potential schemes and their road safety both in the short and the long term. It will reflect how the various trials will be measured and what will be determined as success. There will also be discussion on the vision for the Walking Strategy and Westminster Council’s approach, with its partners, to creating a safer environment for vulnerable road users.

Soundbites from presentation:

Low emission neighbourhood – main objective to reduce air quality by increasing active travel

Significant barrier – area is perceived as unsafe (for cycling & walking)

Westminster transport hierarchy – prioritises walking & cycling, then public transport, then private vehicles

Uncomfortable levels of pedestrians in many areas of Westminster

The more you bring in stakeholders, the better

Walking strategy reviewed effectiveness of 20mph limits – no clear outcome. Concerns that signing only is not particularly effective.

However, going to trial 30 20mph schemes around Westminster.

Ask delegates when considering road safety schemes to consider air quality and public health.

14.45Fredrik Carling, CEO, Hövding

Fredrik Carling, CEO of Swedish-based company Hövding, presents ‘the world’s first airbag for cyclists’, including a demonstration.

Hovding airbag

Summary: This presentation will explain how, through advanced sensors, Hövding can sense a cyclist’s movement patterns and will react in the event of a collision. The airbag will then inflate, fix the neck position and provide the world’s best shock absorption.

Soundbites from presentation:

‘Why challenge status quo – it’s worked for decades’

Really – does it really work? The number of adult cyclist using a helmet is very low

Hovding – 3x better shock absorbtion compared with traditional helmet

Battery charged (10hrs), measure body movement 200 times per second.

Protects surface of head and neck

An eight fold reduction in risk of concussion

793 accidents in which Hovding has done its job

Champions League verses fourth division!

40,000 Hovding on streets today

Cost – £219

Once deployed, needs to be replaced (at a reduced price)

14.25Richard Cuerden, chief scientist and research director, engineering and technology, TRL

Richard Cuerden, TRL, is talking to delegates about driverless cars and vehicle technology. He is providing a progress report on the various trials and initiatives currently taking place in the UK.

Soundbites from presentation:

Three big showcase projects funded by Gov’t– Pathfinder, Gateway & Venturer

Many technologies coming to market in high-end vehicles

The challenge is time – can take up to a million miles of data to validate a system

Currently hoovering up data to compare what human drivers are doing compared to automated cars.

GATEway – what can autonomous cars do for people with disabilities and can autonomous cars make deliveries?

Pod being tested always has a supervisor – is the technology robust, how do people behave when the see the vehicle

Crowds are difficult for autonomous cars – if we’re not sure vehicle will slow down – still not sure, it will stop.

Trialling of shuttles scheduled for April 2017. Programme will end in September

Not just cars & pods – HGV Platooning trials – UK Gov’t trial during 2017

Auto industry spending billions on this technology

Ford will be mass-producing a car with no steering wheel or pedals by 2021.

The whole landscape is changing…

14.15Panel discussion

This afternoon’s panelists (Nicola Glover, Sandra Agbabiaka and Su Guy) takes questions from the audience:

Were there any casualty reduction benefits in Hackney?
Hackney – Studies not finished, casualty data not yet available
Nicola Glover – there will be something in the Atkins report

Have speed humps been removed in Hackney?
No, still being used

Are these schemes using pavement space for signs?
Nicola Glover – some areas painting on roads where possible

14.00Sandra Agbabiaka & Su Guy, Hackney Council

Sandra Agbabiaka and Su Guy, Hackney Council, are talking about 20mph limits in their borough.

Summary: In February 2015 a 20mph speed limit was introduced on main roads across Hackney. In this joint presentation Su and Sandra will look at the impact of this initiative, and pass on advice to road safety officers and elected members who may experience the introduction of a similar scheme in their borough at some point in the future.

Soundbites from presentation:

All residential roads are 20mph, predominantly zones

Signing & lining and vehicle activated signs

Initially some confusion and lack of consistency between London Boroughs

In some areas we did not have the reduction is speed we wanted – speed surveys helped identify areas to work on

Measures introduced to further reduce speeds (gateway features etc)

Community road watch – utilised frequently, effective, tweeting etc, make community aware we are there to help

Comms plan – requested funds at the outset for publicity plan

Engaged with local press, children’s competition (posters, banners), leaflets, bus backs, outdoor media etc

Surveyed 1,000 people from Hackney, plus drivers:

  • 77% recalled promo banners
  • Only 10% recalled leaflets
  • 58% recalled seeing information about limits (70% of drivers)


  • Safety aspects resonated well with residents
  • Scepticism about speed restrictions (drivers ignoring them, hard to enforce)

13.45Nicola Glover, Atkins

Nicola Glover from Atkins is presenting ‘Provision of 20mph Research – Purpose, Methodology and Early Findings’.


Summary: While there is evidence suggesting that 20mph zones are effective in reducing collisions and speeds, there is an evidence gap on the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits. A large number of schemes are currently being implemented with limited understanding of where they work best, the factors contributing to their success, and barriers to delivery.

The Atkins project will be important in informing future policy development on 20mph speeds and limits; as well as influencing scheme development and delivery, and wider transport policy. The early findings present the evidence gathered in the first year of the main evaluation phase.

Soundbites from presentation:

Background to study: DfT concerned that authorities are implementing 20mph signed only speed limits with little research

Currently in main evaluation phase of project

Looking at why schemes are being introduced and what impact are they having?

Schemes implemented with three main drivers:

  • Transport-related
  • Health-related
  • Community or politically driven (bottom up by communities or top down by councillors)

Early findings:

  • 20mph limits are generally supported by residents and drivers
  • The majority of residents are aware of the scheme in their area
  • Low numbers of residents and drivers think average speed has reduced
  • 2/3rds of residents and drivers feel 20mph limits have been beneficial for cyclists
  • Three quarters of residents & drivers think the schemes benefit their area
  • Drivers say they are more aware of hazards
  • Evidence of small increases of walking & cycling in areas

Further analysis – speed data analysis in 12 case study authorities (level of compliance, average speed, effectiveness of limits over time, speed displacement impacts, effectiveness of limits v zones).

12.30 – Iain Simmons, assistant direction (City Transportation), City of London Corporation

Iain Simmons, City of London Corporation, will focus on road safety in Bank, and the infamous Bank Junction.

Summary: Bank Junction in the City of London does not work very well. It is heavily used by all road users and has a high collision and casualty record that requires critical improvements.

This presentation will give details of the ‘Bank on Safety’ scheme, currently being developed by the City of London Corporation to provide much needed safety benefits. Bank on Safety is expected to go live in spring 2017 while longer-term solutions are developed and consulted on.

Soundbites from presentation:

Survey confirmed everyone wanted to change Bank junction

People on foot are biggest user by far of Bank

There are informal crossing movements

Bank is totally dysfunctional for people on foot

Cyclists cannot work out how and where to position themselves

There are many significant institutions in Bank area – huge amount of local engagement

Proposal – to close Bank junction to all but cyclists & buses 7am – 7pm Mon-Fri

Retiming 25 traffic signals – reduces inefficiency of Bank

Modelling shows if we close Bank, traffic will move more efficiently in the City

We can make buses move more efficiently by taking other traffic out of Bank

Taxis drivers not happy at being excluded

Decisions made in December, Bank will change around end of April

Doing it as an experiment, monitoring are range of criteria

12.15Mahmood Siddiqi, director for transport and highways, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Mahmood Siddiqi is discussing how his borough aims to remove the tension between traffic and pedestrians, with a particular focus on Exhibition Road.

Summary: Exhibition Road in South Kensington attracts 11 million visitors each year but until 2011, it was a car-dominated environment where most of the available road space was designated for moving traffic and parking. There is now significantly more space for pedestrians following the street’s refurbishment.

This was achieved not through pedestrianisation but (controversially) by introducing ambiguity. This presentation reflects on the scheme five years on and asks whether it has opened the floodgates to more innovative public realm projects.

Soundbites from presentation:

Many engineers were using ‘more is more’ approach which results in street clutter, fussy paving, coloured paving – unattractive

Kensington High Street – have created a much better environment for drivers and pedestrians by reducing street clutter, and as a result drivers are driving more slowly. Empowered pedestrians to use whole length of the street for crossings etc

Exhibition Road – a world class destination, major hub for tourists & residents – no easy task or ‘one size fits all’ solution.

80% dominated by car user with small strip either side for pedestrians, especially if mobility impaired.

Objective – to make it inclusive and accessible for all, and bring pedestrian autonomy to the street.

The design – an accessible multi-purpose public space. Pedestrian zone, vehicular zone & transition zone

Legally challenged on proposal by Guide Dogs for the Blind (commissioned research in response to this)

Collisions & casualties went down in three years post implementation, but would like to see greater reductions.

Renewed confidence in the area & regenerated the area.

Vital ingredients:

  • A project champion
  • High level of stakeholder engagement
  • Research & post implementation monitoring

11.45Phil Jones, Phil Jones Associates, and Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE discuss shared spaces

Phil Jones and Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE, discuss shared spaces, including an overview of a review being prepared by CIHT.

Summary: The presentation will summarise the new guidance note currently in preparation by CIHT (scheduled for publication later in 2016) on what has generally been referred to as Shared Space – although there is much misunderstanding and controversy over the use of that term.

Soundbites from presentation – Phil Jones

There are controversies around shared space, but we are trying to find ways around these

Streets where there is a lack of differentiation have been around since whenever

Hans Monderman (Dutch engineer) introduced this technique as a road safety measure

Shared schemes can still have pedestrian crossings (eg: Drachten, Netherlands)

There is general DfT support for shared space schemes (Local Transport Note 1/11)

Comparable number of casualties on shared space & conventional schemes

Reducing segregation slows down traffic

Shared space is not a thing, it is an approach

Many schemes are done for urban regeneration, not simply road safety

There are issues & concerns (Moody & Melia Paper)
DfT continues to monitor and last year issued a call for information on schemes which was then passed to CIHT

Three broad types of design: ‘Unstructured street’, ‘Less managed street and ‘Enhanced street’.

Lord HolmesBut…it’s features that matter, not names

Reasons why people do shared space:

  • More inclusive environment
  • Better quality place
  • Ease of movement
  • Improved safety & public health

13 case studies being researched – aiming to publish spring 2017

Typical findings:

  • More inclusive environment
  • Better quality place
  • Ease of movement
  • Improved safety & public health

Chris Holmes (right)
Inclusion is the mother and father of innovation


  • Moritorium on shared space schemes
  • Audit of shared space
  • Updated DfT guidance
  • Retention of controlled crossings

11.00Question and answers

Session one of the LRSC’s Centenary Conference is drawing to a close with a a question and answer session.

Session one speakers

We have had children’s road safety education for 100 years – where is the evidence that it works?

Mike Esbester – no real answer from a historical perspective
Liz Brooker – reducing casualties suggests success

Why is Redbridge Council cutting its road safety team?

Keith Prince – Labour administration responsible for this, I absolutely deplore it and will be raising it at council meetinsg

What is Waltham Forest doing to reduce risks caused by the mini-Holland programme?

Mark Bland – We consult and discuss our proposals before going forward. We are not aware of any delays to emergency services attending call outs. We don’t want to introduce shared space – we prefer segregation. Copenhagen crossings – introduced to ensure vehicles give way to pedestrians & cyclists. Still early days, not much info in UK, we are monitoring.

Have Waltham Forest measures reduced cycling on pavement?

Mark Bland – Introduced 10 pedestrian & cyclist counters – we are monitoring – I suspect if we get the infrastructure right we will achieve this.
Keith Prince – I believe police should enforce against cyclists on pavements

10.45Mark Bland, programme manager: Enjoy Waltham Forest, Waltham Forest Council

Mark Bland presents the Mini Holland cycling programme in Waltham Forest.

Summary: Mini-Holland schemes encourage more people to cycle, and cycle more often, with features that make cycling feel safer and more convenient. They also aim to improve streets and public spaces for everyone. The programme specifically targets people who make short car journeys in outer London that could easily be cycled instead.

Soundbites from presentation:

Waltham Forest one of three London boroughs awarded funding to increase number of cyclists.

Lea Bridge Road – a street for all – travelling by bike is the quickest but…we still need to make some significant changes to infrastructure to encourage more cyclists

In a survey, everyone’s main concern was safety

Key design features for new scheme include segregated cycle track, improved pedestrian and cyclist crossings, Copenhagen crossings at all side roads, reallocation of road space, bus stop bypasses, redesigned and simplified signalling at junctions.

Looked for similar route to test infrastructure (less complex to Lea Bridge Road) where measures could be introduced more easily & quickly.

Measures introduced are now being monitored – infrastructure been in place about 18 months, no collisions to date.

Measures will then be introduced on Lea Bridge Road, taking into account lessons learnt.

10.30Liz Brooker MBE, Lewisham Council, & Tanya Fosdick, Road Safety Analysis

Liz Brooker MBE & Tanya Fosdick present ‘Delivering insights: understanding motorcyclist behaviour across London’.

Summary: Road Safety Analysis has been working with a number of London boroughs analysing the types of motorcyclists who are involved in collisions on their roads and who live in their area. This analysis provides practical insights into who these riders are and how they can be engaged with.

This presentation will explain the types of insight provided and how the findings have been used on the ground in Lewisham and Newham to try to address their specific issues.

Soundbites from presentation:

We will address some of the previous speaker’s (Keith Prince) concerns

RSA producing insight reports on specific themes including motorcyclists

Motorcycling insight report found similarities across all four London boroughs (Lewisham, Newham, Camden & Lambeth)

  • Collisions occur on major routes
  • Over representation of casualties from out of area
  • Different target audiences across the borough
  • Across the four boroughs 10 personas (for motorcyclists) were identified

How were the findings used in Lewisham?

  • £80,00 funding from TfL over two years
  • The insight study matched what we wanted to do.
  • Developed a programme providing half price CBT (a new CBT training course)
  • Contacted the local CBT company and now deliver the new course in partnership with them
  • Participants evaluated before, immediately after and six weeks after the course
  • Targeting 1,000 participants over two years
  • Covering vulnerability, visibility, impairment, hazard perception & vehicle maintenance.
  • Course for under 25s, targeting 10 per week

10.15Keith Prince AM, deputy chairman, London Assembly Transport Committee

Keith Prince AM from the London Assembly Transport Committee, looks at how to improve motorcycle safety on London’s roads.

LRSC audience 2

Summary: In March 2016, the London Assembly Transport Committee published its report into motorcycle safety, titled ‘Easy Rider: Improving motorcycle safety on London roads’.

In this presentation Keith Prince will cover the key findings of report which cover topics including access to bus lanes, monitoring of Cycle Superhighways and encouraging more young riders to take additional training.

Soundbites from presentation:

You’re never a true motorcyclist until you’ve fallen off!

Motorcyclists are under valued by the Mayor and TfL

London Assembly motorcycling report published in March 2016

Motorcyclists account for 1% of traffic but 24% of casualties in London.

Casualties mainly among young men riding mopeds – not enough is being done to address this.

Giving motorcyclists to bus lanes causes problems – it’s a postcode lottery in terms of whether motorcyclists can use bus lanes – causes problems & confusion.

Will be campaigning to persuade all boroughs to allow motorcyclists access to bus lanes.

Training & education – Bikesafe workshops funded by TfL are very good…but participants are disproportionately older…TfL should increase youth participation

TfL Motorcycle Action Plan should be replaced or updated, and identify a dedicated motorcycle safety budget

10.00Dr Mike Esbester, senior lecturer in history, University of Portsmouth

Dr Mike Esbester, University of Portsmouth, is looking at accident prevention in London since 1916, including a brief look at the LRSC’s history.

Summary: This talk will look back at the LRSC over its 100 year history and show what steps have been taken to improve safety in London since 1916.

Drawing on the LRSC’s archives and using examples of material such as posters, the talk will focus on the use of education to try to persuade people to change their behaviour.

Soundbites from presentation:

London Safety First Council (now LRSC) was established in 1916.

Safety weeks were held across London during the 1930s – with variable success and participation across the boroughs.

After 1945 some central government money was first made available for road safety work.

1966 – RoSPA produced Xmas wrapping paper carrying road safety messages.

A Tufty road safety handkerchief was produced by RoSPA around 1960

1960s junior accident prevention councils were set up in schools

Would a greater awareness of past work help shape road safety delivery in the future?

What role can the past play in informing the present and the future?

Could past material be repackaged and used again in the future?

09.35Leon Daniels, TfL, delivers opening keynote address: ‘Sources of Road Danger’

Leon Daniels, TfL, delivers opening keynote address: ‘Sources of Road Danger’.

Summary: This presentation will set out how TfL, working closely with London boroughs, is tackling sources of road danger to achieve the target of halving the number of people killed and seriously injured on the Capital’s roads by 2020.

Soundbites from presentation:

London’s roads are at their safest since records began…but pedestrians, cyclists & motorcyclists remain a priority

We are working especially hard to reduce motorcyclist casualties

‘Vision Zero’ will make our streets safer

Healthy Streets will contribute to improving quality of life for Londoners

TfL developing plans for ‘Vision Zero’

No death or serious injury is inevitable or acceptable

London is leading the way with innovative & evidence-based road safety interventions

Our ambitious future programme includes Direct Vision Standard (for trucks), Safer Junction, collaboration with police on education and enforcement, and 20mph limits.

We are delivering a broad programme of bus safety improvements, reducing the risk posed to other road users through a new bus safety programme.

We are working in partnership to achieve Vision Zero for London…delivering road safety in collaboration with our partners.

Technology – increased automation in cars – we are thinking about a city with autonomous vehicles. Will pedestrians take less care knowing the autonomous vehicles will always stop for them?

Serious moral issue for all of us to consider with regard to autonomous vehicles further down the line.

09.30Liz Knight welcomes delegates to the Conference

Liz Knight, vice chair of the London Road Safety Council is welcoming delegated to the Council’s Centenary Conference.

08.00 – 100 not out for the London Road Safety Council

Welcome to a live blog of the London Road Safety Council’s Centenary Conference, ‘Safer Roads, Safer Cities’. We will provide you all the latest information, the important soundbites from the event’s speakers, pictures and more.

Outside Guildhall 2