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.”