Road safety

Dear Transportation Secretary……..SR4A sets out road safety priorities

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Leading members of the Safe Roads for All Alliance wrote to new Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan:

Dear Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Congratulations on your appointment. We consider the transport dossier to be extremely important and road safety to be an essential priority.

We are writing to you on behalf of Alliance for Safe Roads for All which met last year to help the Department of Transportation develop a new road safety framework. It is a broad alliance of more than 50 organizations from the private, public and voluntary sectors.

We know that you are committed, as part of your transport case, to growth for the UK that is green and generates rapid economic returns. We note the commitment in the budget to road infrastructure, including additional funding for the Safer Roads Fund, which is extremely welcome. We know you will be determined to implement and accelerate powerful change with demonstrable results to get us there.

Accelerating road safety action will help you deliver the results the government is looking for, including helping to unlock safe and lasting results that also create wealth for the UK. Why road safety matters in numbers:

  • 33,052 – the average number of people declared killed or seriously injured every year on British roads for the past decade;
  • £33.4 billion – the estimate of your Ministry of value of prevention collisions and road victims in 2019;
  • 4,000 road victim families in need of help after being horribly bereaved or suffering life-altering injuries every year;
  • £0.9 billion – the annual cost to the NHS of physical inactivity. The danger of the road is the main obstacle to active travel.
  • 4:1 – the BCR on typical road safety engineering schemes – far greater than most road investments.

We have laid out the compelling human, green and economic arguments in the Report on safe roads for all.

The ministry’s 2019 Road Safety Statement has now run its course. Over the past two years, we have worked with your department to establish the building blocks of an effective and ambitious new strategy. Excellent preparatory work has been done and is ready to be implemented. We now urge you to deliver.

Immediate priorities:

  • An unequivocal statement by you that the current number of deaths and injuries is not acceptable; and that this government wants to reduce it substantially. The easiest way would be to make it clear that the ’50 x 30′ global target the government backed at the UN in 2020 also applies to the UK.
  • Get involved with road accident services. Your ministry’s last grant to the National Traffic Victims Service expired in June 2022 and future funding has yet to be announced; this must be addressed immediately to prevent families from being put at risk due to the threat of termination of services.
  • Reaffirm the government’s commitment to creation of the road safety investigation department and defined the roadmap for its legislative basis and funding.
  • Publish on Government response to its 2020 road policing call for evidence.
  • Re-establish UK vehicle regulations as a world leader, both in terms of today’s safety standards and in providing pathways to market for mobility innovators, benefiting society and the economy from future technologies.

These items could be accomplished with minimal additional cost or work by your department. Are you going to push the button?

These are the immediate priorities. A much broader set of strategy-based actions for a safe system is also needed. We ask that you meet with the Safe Roads for All Alliance as soon as possible, hear your thoughts, seek advice and answer your questions.

Let’s work together to achieve the change we all need and want to see.

Best regards,

Sent on behalf of Safe Roads for All Alliance:

Richard Cuerden, Director, TRL (Transportation Research Laboratory)

Suzy Charman, Executive Director, Road Safety Foundation

David Davies, Executive Director, PACTS (Parliamentary Transport Security Advisory Council)

Mary Williams OBE, Chief Executive, Brake (the road safety charity)

Sent on September 26, 2022