The number of hit and run driving incidents is higher in Tower Hamlets than any other London borough, new data shows.
Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request by the London Assembly Green group have revealed the number of offences in Tower Hamlets has increased for four years in a row.
The data recorded hit and runs in 2013 and reported 240 incidents in Tower Hamlets. Sixteen were classified as “serious”, but no fatalities were recorded. The number involving bicycles was particularly high in the borough.
Other boroughs that had large numbers of hit and run crimes were Westminster (237), Ealing (206), Newham (204) and Hackney (192). Westminster and Newham had the highest number of incidents involving pedestrians, but there were more hit and runs involving cyclists in Tower Hamlets causing it to lead the boroughs statistics overall.
Rosie Downes, Campaigns Manager at the London Cycling Campaign, said: “These are appalling statistics and demonstrate clearly that police must do more to enforce the law and tackle dangerous driving. At the same time, they show how urgently we need to redesign our streets to ensure they provide safe and inviting space for cycling.”
“Cycle Superhighway 2, which runs from Aldgate to Stratford, has the worst casualty rate for any similar road in London. CS2’s current blue paint [lane], which offers no physical or legal protection for cyclists, must be replaced with a high quality protected space for cycling along the entire route without delay.”
“Providing [better] infrastructure and enforcing against dangerous driving could make cycling a viable option for the tens of thousands of Londoners who would like to cycle, but find our streets too dangerous to do so.”
The Green Party’s Jenny Jones said: “This is a worrying trend which the Met Police need to treat as a priority. Hit and runs are associated with other illegal activities such as drunk driving, speeding, being disqualified or simply having no insurance.”
“When a city has almost a fifth of its injuries from road collisions being linked to hit and runs, then the Mayor ought to be demanding that police enforce the rules”. Jones called for police to pool “resources and political backing to get on top of our lawless roads.”
Consultations closed on November 2 for proposed improvements to the CS2 cycle route. If successful, the improvements to the route will create kerb and wand-separated cycle tracks to keep cyclists safe from other traffic.