DfT and Welsh Government publish raft of new stats

12.13 | 23 January 2018 | | 4 comments

Image: DfT stats, via Twitter.

Recent statistical bulletins cover the condition of England’s roads, walking and cycling in England, further analysis of the 2016 National Travel Survey and Welsh motorcycle casualties for 2016.

Road condition statistics (DfT)
The headline finding is that the condition of local authority managed ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ roads has gradually improved over the last five years.

The DfT’s ‘Road Condition Indicator’ (RCI) is made up of several factors which combine to give an overall measure of the state of the road. Based on their RCI score, the condition of the roads can be split into three categories (red, amber and green). Roads classified as red are described as ‘should have been considered for maintenance’, or in need of attention.

The proportion of ‘A’ roads that should have been ‘considered for maintenance’ in 2016/17 was 3%, the same as the previous year – but down from 5% in 2012/13.

The bulletin also shows that 6% of ‘B’ and ‘C’ roads should have been considered for maintenance, the same as in the previous year.

The DfT says there are many possible reasons for these changes including milder winters, local authority road maintenance strategies, funding, and the levels of road traffic and congestion.

However, unclassified roads have not seen the same improvement over the last five years – remaining ‘broadly stable’.

Walking and cycling (DfT)
This bulletin shows that on average people made 243 walking trips (covering 198 miles) and 15 cycling trips (covering 53 miles), in 2016.

Looking at longer term trends, walking trip rates decreased by 19% between 2005 and 2015, from approximately 4.7 trips per week to 3.8 trips per week.

The average distance walked also decreased across the same period – down 8% from 3.8 miles per week to 3.5 miles per week.

However, people cycled 26% further in 2016 compared to 2006, up to an average 53 miles per year from 42 miles per year.

2016 National Travel Survey (DfT)
Further analysis of the 2016 National Travel Survey – first published in July 2017 – suggests there have been substantial changes in travel behaviour since 1975, with the total number of trips per person per year falling since 1995.

Looking at more recent trends, the analysis shows that between 2011-2014, distance travelled per head was 80% greater in rural areas than in the Greater London built-up area. Car driver travel per person was also three times greater.

Motorcycle casualty stats 2016 (Welsh Government)
Statistics published by the Welsh Government last week (18 Jan) show that 22 motorcyclists were killed on the country’s roads in 2016 – three fewer than the previous year.

There were 254 motorcyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) in 2016 – down 7% from 273 in 2015. However, this figure is only 1% lower than the 2004-08 average (257).

The figures also show that although motorcyclists only accounted for 0.7% of traffic in Wales in 2016, they represented 41% of motor vehicle drivers KSIs.

84% of motorcyclist KSI incidents occured in fine weather, compared to 12% in rainy weather conditions.


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    Thank you for that Derek. Is it the case that at a junction there is electronically controlled signage to the effect of warning a driver stopped at a junction of the approach of a motorcycle. If that is the case does it not deter drivers from looking themselves and depending upon location may it cause a distraction? I Hope that we will in the near future have perhaps a further report on the viability and success of this new intervention. I hope it works but I believe that one can only see that if its placed at a historically notoriously dangerous junction where it could be proven that this intervention has actually mitigated or reduced incidents.

    bob craven
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    Bob, They gave all the money to this company http://www.fusionproc.com/uncategorized/fusion-win-contract-to-save-motorcyclists-in-wales/
    They produced a product that can be seen on this page. http://www.fusionproc.com/trafficmonitor/
    It would be interesting to know how many installations have been made or how successful it has been.

    Derek Hertfordshire
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    Is it possible that in this forum I can ask those that know in Wales what has or is happening to the three initiatives that they financially supported and proposed some 2/3 years ago. Has any one of them come to fruition yet and/or is any one of them going to be used to reduce the fatalities, injuries or collisions or in general incidents with regards to motorcyclists safety.

    bob craven
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    Well I always knew that the vast majority of motorcycle incidents occurred during good dry weather and not when it is raining and as is now understood there are many fewer incidents in poor weather conditions. I am therefore not surprise to find out that its 84% in good weather and only some 12% in rainy conditions. The vast majority of motorcyclists will not go out if it is raining.

    What amazes me is the attitude that many drivers and some riders have to wet weather conditions. I identify weekend warriors as being particularly at risk. Those that drive a car all the time but pop out on their super duper sports bike by themselves or usually in packs at the weekend or evening. Out for a blast on some quiet or busy country roads. They have the same attitude of car drivers in general in that we talk about when its raining we should….bla bla but forget to include that after rain the road surface is still wet and therefore its just the same danger and drivers should slow and give more distance to other vehicles. What appears to be missing is their understanding of increased danger. This also applies on a good dry day but after rain in that there will be areas that have not dried out. They go out for that blast and hit a patch of wet tarmac usually round the bend or under trees or with high hedges blocking the sunlight and wonder why they come off.

    That said its quite possible that incidents occur on brilliantly sunny days but not identified that perhaps laying water was a contributory factor. One thing that is not well known or understood is that whilst tyres work better when warmed up, travelling on cold water can indeed make the tyre lose air pressure and that lower pressure that can easily lead to an incident where the tyre loses grip or the rider is blamed for losing control.

    bob craven
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