Did TfL and Boris hide appalling 2011 road casualty figures in the run up to the 2012 Mayoral election?
Road Safety and the Mayoral election
Road safety was a major issue in the final stages of the 2012 Mayoral election. Evidence has now emerged suggesting that the release of the appalling 2011 london road casualty figures was delayed until after the Mayoral election.
With pedestrian fatalities up by 33% and cyclist fatalities up by 60% nobody can doubt that 2011 was a dreadful year for vulnerable road users in London. My analysis, based on data up to 2010, in common with others suggested that Boris/TfL's pursuit of increased traffic speeds was killing vulnerable Londoners. The 2011 figures would have made a vital contribution to the debate, and could even have had an impact on the outcome of the election.
It has now emerged that the 2011 data was available at least 6 days before the election, despite denials from TfL and Boris.
TfL have confirmed, following my Freedom of Information request that
"(the boroughs) were then sent the full and finalised 2011 data once the year was closed. This was sent out over two days – 26 and 27 April 2012."
The Mayoral election was 6 days later. Three weeks after the election the Mayor was still denying that this data was available. In a written reply to a question from GLA member John Biggs, the Mayor stated
"It is anticipated that final 2011 casualty and collision data for London will be published later this summer"
The Mayor and TfL are in denial about casualties to vulnerable londoners. Not only was this information kept from political scrutiny during the election process, but when released, these shocking figures were heralded as a success story in the TfL press release. "Transport for London; New figures show progress continues to be made in making London's roads safer".
Until TfL and the Mayor admit they have a real problem here, casualties amongst vulnerable road users will continue to rise . Hiding bad data and spinning needs to stop.