Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

News and events

Latest news from Loughborough University

17 August 2007 PR 07/109

Congestion Charge potentially unsafe for motorcyclists, claim researchers

The London congestion charge may be having an adverse effect on motorcyclist and cyclist casualties, according to research published online in the journal Transportation.

Loughborough University and Imperial College London researchers found an increase of up to 40 more motorcycling casualties per month during the congestion charging period (from 7am-6.30pm) for inner London, excluding the congestion zone. However, they also found a drop of 5.6 motorist casualties per month in the congestion charging zone.

The study analysed the effect of the congestion charge on traffic casualty figures for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. It is based on figures taken from January 1991 to February 2003, 21 months after the introduction of the congestion charge.

Researchers examined killed and serious traffic injuries (known as KSI) and slight injuries to see whether there were any shifts in total outcomes. They looked at the following regions:

• Inner London – represents the central boroughs of London surrounding the congestion charging zone
• Outer London – is the suburban areas of greater London
• Greater London – a region encompassing all 32 London boroughs
• Congestion charging zone – the central zone of London with boundaries bordering Park Lane (west), Euston Road (north), Commercial Road (east) and New Kent Road (south)

When looking at outer London only, researchers saw a reduction in slight injuries for motorists and an increase in cyclist casualties.

When they analysed the overall figures for greater London they found no statistically significant change in total traffic casualties since the introduction of the congestion charge.

Speaking about the rise in motorcyclist casualties in inner London, Imperial’s Dr Robert Noland said: “Transport for London data indicates an increase in motorcycle trips within the charging zone of about 15%. The incentive to use motorcycles, which are exempt from the congestion charge, could explain why parts of London have experienced an increase in motorcycle casualties.”

Speculating about the rise in cycling casualties in outer London he said: “The congestion charge may be encouraging a steady increase in the number of cyclists commuting to rail stations and this could explain the rise in casualties.”

Commenting about the research and the impacts on transport policy, Dr Noland said: “The impact of any transport policy needs to consider unintended consequences. A change in the design of the congestion charge, or introduction of other policies, may be needed to achieve reductions in motorcycle and bicycle casualties. We would like to extend this research to examine the western expansion of the charging zone and the increase in the fee to £8 to see what further impact there may have been on casualties.”

Commenting on the robustness of the method used in the study and the need for further analysis, Loughborough University’s Dr Mohammed Quddus, based in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering said: “A range of advanced statistical models were applied to the data and they all obtained a very similar result. More detailed modal and spatial analyses are required to fully understand the safety impacts of the London congestion charge.”

The study was conducted by Dr Mohammed Quddus from Loughborough University, Imperial College London’s Dr Robert Noland and Professor Washington Ochieng from the Centre for Transport Studies.

ENDS

For all media enquiries contact:

Notes for editors:

  1. The Transportation paper is entitled: “The effect of the London congestion charge on road casualties: an intervention analysis”
    The full listing of authors and their affiliations for the Transportation paper is as follows:
    Robert B. Noland(1), Mohammed A. Quddus (2), Washington Y. Ochieng(1)
    (1) Centre for Transport Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, England
    (2) Transport Studies Group, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
    2. Transportation web address: http://www.springerlink.com/content/103007/
    2
  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2006 National Student Survey, the University gained a top five place, with nine out of Loughborough’s 23 departments topping their subject tables. Loughborough was also placed 6th in the 2007 Times Good University Guide and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

Search news


Contact us

Public Relations Office
Loughborough University
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU

Tel: 01509 222224
Fax: 01509 223902
Email


Find out more


Page maintained by: publicrelations@lboro.ac.uk
This page was last updated on Wednesday September 21, 2011 10:46