Tessa Jowell, the Labour mayoral hopeful, has announced plans to enforce 20mph speed limits in areas across London, while warning of the serious dangers cyclists face in the city.

A number of boroughs including Camden, Islington and Southwark have already introduced 20mph speed limits, but there are concerns that police are not enforcing the lower speed limit in the same way the 30mph speed limit is imposed.

If she becomes Mayor of London, Tessa Jowell has pledged to improve cycle safety by introducing cyclist-safe lorries which use lower seats for drivers, a larger windscreen and side windows to increase visibility. She has also said that she will push for primary and secondary ‘bikeability’ cycling proficiency courses, and promised to reconfigure all dangerous junctions by 2020.

Dame Tessa said: “More and more Londoners are cycling - but cycling in London is still far too risky... We should be doing everything we can to ensure this is a welcoming city for cyclists. London today is not truly fit for cyclists and lives are being put at risk.”

Cyclists represent just two percent of journeys in London, but 20 percent of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads are cyclists. There have been eight cyclist deaths in London so far in 2015 and all bar one have involved heavy good vehicles.

Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Cycling injuries are rising and the loss of life on London’s roads is as tragic as it is unnecessary.

"Boris and the Tory government have made a lot of noise but effected no real change when it comes to cycling safety in London. Tessa Jowell’s proposals offer tangible change and real road infrastructure improvements as well as tighter HGV safety regulations and if that reduces or ends the spate of cyclist deaths on London's roads it will be hugely welcome.”