Top 8 motorcycle safety concerns highlighted in London Assembly report

Published on 4 March 2016 by Tom Wadlow

The London Assembly has produced a report detailing major safety concerns of motorcyclists in the capital.

The document, titled Easy Rider: Improving motorcycle safety on London’s roads, draws on a survey of more than 1,200 riders and interviews with experts in the field of road safety.

Some of the main concerns highlighted are that:

  • More than a third of London motorcyclists feel vulnerable on the road
  • Despite accounting for 1% of London traffic, motorcycles are involved in 24% of fatal/serious road casualties
  • Data collection on why accidents occur is not detailed enough
  • Training schemes are not reaching out to enough young people, who are identified as the most at risk 
  • Congestion is contributing to overcrowded roads
  • Access to bus lanes is inconsistent as some Boroughs ban motorcycles from using them
  • Cycle segregation schemes have reduced the amount of road space for other traffic
  • Other road safety devices like speed cushions encourage drivers to drive directly into the path of turning motorcycles


BMF’s Government Relations Executive Graeme Hay comments: “In this report from the London Assembly we see a clear recognition of the concerns raised by riders around the loss of road space to other travel modes, poor design in some road schemes as well as the huge lost opportunity that results from a failure by many of the London Boroughs to give motorcycle access to Bus lanes.”

“I believe that this report from the London Assembly and the motorcycle safety action plan, combined with the new Design Handbook and the training improvements for riders as well as awareness advertising campaigns for car, van and truck drivers is the beginning of a new deal for motorcycle and scooter riders in the capital. It comes just in time for the wave of electrically propelled scooters and small motorcycles, which will be such a major feature of the UK cities in the next few years. This matters just as much in Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and in every other city where the outcomes from the London approach to motorcycle safety will be closely watched.”

“The BMF warmly welcomes the work that is being done by TfL to address the increase in the number of lives lost by those who use motorcycles and scooters to get around the city. The development of the Urban Motorcycle Design Handbook and the training programme for TfL and Borough engineers which supports its introduction will change the way in which improvement schemes are designed and ways in which London’s roads are maintained. 

“Motorcycle and scooter safety in any congested city is always a challenge but it is clear that TfL, the Metropolitan Police and the Motorcycle Industry Association are committed to meeting this challenge. The BMF are delighted to have been involved in the development of these important initiatives, which we support fully.

Check back in the coming weeks for more detailed breakdowns of this important study, revealing in more detail how the London Assembly believes TfL and other stakeholders can make London safer for riders.