Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Road Safety

There has been talk in the press recently about road safety, and last month the BBC reported that the number of people killed on British roads last year reached a record low.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/10408417.stm
I took an interest in this, given that I was involved in a study of accidents in the Bracknell Forest Council area.  More about that later…

A bit over a year ago, the Guardian reported that “Road safety, cycling and bus priority schemes across England are under threat amid fears that the government is preparing to cut its £2.1bn local transport budget.”
This month the BBC reported that half of all fatal road crashes occur on one-tenth of Britain's roads. This article also reported that improved junctions and markings, along with resurfacing with high friction, anti-skid treatments, drastically reduced the number of serious accidents.

Just lately the LGA is suggesting that along with Housing, education, major transport projects and social cohesion programmes, road safety may have reduced funding.
It is probably just as well that Bracknell Forest has invested heavily in road safety in the past. Various schemes were implemented throughout the borough to bring down the number of accidents.
In the Working Group report that I contributed to, it is noted that “Further reductions in casualties are increasingly difficult to achieve, and it has to be recognised that there is an irreducible minimum number of casualties which no amount of investment could remedy.”

The Working Group noted that BFC had committed itself to further reduction over and above the targets set by Government. The working group concluded that the Council’s annual targets should not set a step reduction in any one year, but instead be based on a straight-line reduction to the ‘stretched’ targets.
http://democratic.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=492&MId=2259&Ver=4  (item 12)

Let us hope that there will not be a too drastic reduction in road safety spending. It seems that on-going education is needed in this area, even though the Council has already used many means to engineer-in road safety to our streets and roads

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