Councillors approve ‘holistic approach’ to road safety

09.04 | 21 March 2018 | | 6 comments

Image: Adrian Cable – reused under the Creative Commons Licence

Councillors in Cambridgeshire have voted to adopt a new ‘safe systems framework’ which recognises road safety expertise as a key council asset.

The changes, approved at a committee meeting on 13 March, include a new delivery model for road safety, a new methodology for assessing injury collision hotspots, and funding for a number of safety improvement schemes.

The new ‘road safety hub’ will bring together expertise across education and engineering to provide one high profile point of contact for road safety information and advice – and improve the presentation of data and information to the public.

The hub will offer a comprehensive range of services to communities across the county including child road safety education, investigating collision hotspots and safety auditing for planned changes to roads.

The hub is also designed to help road safety professionals use their expertise to deliver targeted behaviour change interventions at specific groups identified as higher risk.

It is hoped the hub will enable the council to maximise opportunities to access external funding for large safety schemes and additional projects, and exploit commercial opportunities to provide road safety training and advice.

The new process for the identification of high risk locations is based on recorded injury collisions. At present, a single ‘complex’ system is used to define a cluster site up to 1500m in length. The changes will see a simplified process, looking at both localised cluster sites as well as whole routes.

The new system is designed to highlight the road safety risk for specific routes and locations, which will inform the ‘prioritisation of available improvement funding’.

Matt Staton, road safety education team leader at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The new approach is intended to expand the reach of the road safety service by developing a basic, universal level of service that is available to communities through self-service or supported self-service.

“The new methodology we will be using for analysing collision cluster hotspots and high risk routes is based on the approach used by Devon County Council and our experience trialling Agilysis and iRAP risk-based assessments over the last 12 months.

“These changes won’t all happen overnight, but they mark the start of a transformation process for road safety delivery in Cambridgeshire, which we believe will enhance its sustainability and success for many years to come.”


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    I think it probably is already Judi – hard for LAs to be operating in the road safety/collision reduction field, without a comprehensive, joined-up approach already being in place I would think. Perhaps Cambridgeshire are just fine-tuning.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (2)

    Excellent. Pity it’s not adopted Countrywide.

    Judi.Best, Tunbridge Wells
    Agree (1) | Disagree (2)

    Recognising “road safety expertise as a key council asset” is an achievement of worth as unfortunately with so many councils road casualty reduction is assumed to happen so does not feature much in policy.

    However, I’m not so sure that Councils are paying more than lip service when they say they are adopting the concept of ‘safe systems framework’. When you look into what they are doing, it is often very “thin”and does not involve much new money.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (3) | Disagree (1)

    I do wonder how things worked in this authority before this new approach. In my experience, it would have been difficult for the appropriate parts of the Council, Police and relevant outside agencies not to work together, co-ordinate and apply the three Es of road casualty reduction under the one umbrella and inevitably end up with what may be called a holistic approach anyway, even if it wasn’t consciously thought of as that.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (3) | Disagree (6)

    About time too. Maybe now we may see multi disciplined objective investigations where a cluster of individual collisions happen and the route cause of such may be more accurately determined and not just generalised with interventions being designed specifically for that location.

    It should not be too difficult as the vast majority of collisions occur on arterial or regularly used routes through a town. They are either committed at junctions as what is call a Smidsy. That or along those same routes and possibly close to junctions but caused by the close proximity of vehicles running in the same direction with to little safe space between. Collisions referred to as rear ending. Caused by tailgating. Or at roundabouts where their is a generally a combination of both of those two general causes. The roundabouts can be large or mini ones it doesn’t matter which as the circumstances will all be similar.

    Bob Craven, Lancs
    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

    Congratulations to Cambridgeshire for taking this decision.

    David, Suffolk
    Agree (5) | Disagree (3)

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