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Data about transport in London!

Traffic casualties in London since 1901

TfL’s most recent report on traffic casualties shows that 126 people died in collisions on London’s roads in 2010. While this figure represents a terrible loss of life, one which can and should be reduced, it is also – as TfL point out – the first time the number of road fatalities has fallen below 150 since their records began in the 1970s.

It is in fact possible to go further back in history then that. Statistics for 1901 onwards were collected by the London County Council and then the Greater London Council, first covering the Metropolitan Police District and then (from the mid 1960s) the Greater London area. Fortunately these two geographies match up fairly well – the Metropolitan Police District is larger than the Greater London area, but until around the mid 60s its outer reaches were sparsely populated enough to make little difference. Using LCC and GLC statistical reports found in the libraries of the London School of Economics and the Greater London Authority, we reconstructed trends of fatalities and total casualties (i.e. including ‘serious’ and ‘slight’ injuries) in London between 1901 and 2010, shown in the two charts below.

Some clear overall patterns emerge. First, each world war resulted in a large fall below trend in both fatalities and total casualties. Taking the effect of the wars into account, the basic trend in terms of fatalities seems to be an increase to a peak of around 1,400 a year in the early 1930s, followed by a long decline that continues to this day, with the 2010 figure of 126 deaths the lowest in the entire record. Total casualties peaked much later, in the early 1960s at 70-80,000 a year, and have fallen proportionately less to around 30,000 a year.

The chart below, derived from the two above, confirms that fatalities have fallen as a share of total casualties over time, though again with notable breaks from trend at the time of the two world wars. The overall downwards trend is presumably due to improvements in emergency care and overall health over time, with the ‘blips’ during the wars probably due to a combination of factors such as blackouts and a shortage of medical care.

You can download the data for these charts in csv format here. In a future post we’ll look at the long-run trend in cyclist casualties.

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Filed under: Data, Historic, London, Safety, TfL

Regional trends in licensed cars

DfT publish some useful statistics on trends in the number of new and existing licensed cars (and other vehicles) at national and regional level. We’ve done some charts below comparing trends in London with other regions.

The first chart (from table VEH0204) shows the proportional growth in the number of licensed cars by region, standardised to a common value of 100 in the year 2000. What it shows is that the number of licensed cars grew by about 6% in London between 2000 and 2010, compared to between 12% and 20% in the other regions. Perhaps the most noticeable recent trend is the sharp drop in the number of licensed cars in the North West in the last two years, although this is still relatively small, only around 3% of the total in 2008.

The second chart (from VEH0254) shows the number of cars registered for the first time by region in 2005 and 2010. There were 127,400 cars registered for the first time in London in 2010, down from 192,200 in 2005. There were falls in every other region except the South East.

Finally, the chart below shows the trend in registered cars per capita by region, which we calculated by dividing the figures in table VEH0204 by regional population estimates downloaded from Nomis. There is one car for every three people in London, compared to one for every two in the South East, South West, West Midlands and East England.

Filed under: Car ownership, Data, DfT, Historic, Regions

Quarterly trend in cycle flows on London’s main roads

Transport for London’s quarterly ‘Operational and Financial Performance Report’, which is published as part of the Finance and Policy Committee papers, includes a measure of the trend in the number of cyclists counted on London’s main roads (the Transport for London Road Network, or TLRN). The measure is an index set to 100 in the base period of March 2000, and according to the latest report the index reached a new high of 298 in the latest quarter (April to June 2011). This means that in this period there were about three times as many cyclists counted as using the TLRN as in March 2000.

The first chart below shows the quarterly trend in the index (and a four-quarter moving average), while the second chart shows the trend in the annualised change, i.e. the change from the same quarter a year ago. You can get the data for each chart in csv format here.

Last year’s Travel in London report also included a monthly index (Fig 2.11, data in this big spreadsheet).

Filed under: Cycling, Data, Historic, London, TfL

TfL report on London Travel Demand Survey

Not sure when it came out, but TfL have published a report (link here) analysing data from the 2007-10 dataset of their London Travel Demand Survey. It’s full of interesting stuff about how, when and where Londoners travel, the chart below being just one example.

Filed under: 2010, London, Report, TfL