With the Road Safety Knowledge Centre having recently celebrated its sixth anniversary, and an ever-increasing numbers of road safety professional making use of the resource, Road Safety GB has paid tribute to the key role Colas has played in its success.
The Road Safety Knowledge Centre is, effectively, an online library of road safety information. It was developed during 2010 with funding provided by the Department for Transport, and went live in September 2010.
Information is added to the Knowledge Centre on a weekly basis and the ‘library’ now comprises almost 3,150 ‘listings’ – a mix of road safety research and reports, publicity campaigns, enforcement and engineering measures, and evaluations of road safety interventions.
The vast majority of the items referenced in the Knowledge Centre originate from the UK, with a tiny number published or produced elsewhere, but of direct relevance to the UK road safety sector.
In terms of usage, traffic to the Knowledge Centre is running at an all time high. In November 2016, the site received 4,505 visits from 3,656 different visitors – year-on-year increases of 35% and 58% respectively.
The Knowledge Centre has 4,476 subscribers who receive the weekly email alert giving details of what’s been added in the past week. These subscribers also receive alerts from the Knowledge Centre Help Forum which is used by road safety professionals to seek advice and support from colleagues. All of the requests for help and answers received (there have been more than 600 requests and more than 2,600 responses since launch) are logged in the Knowledge Centre and accessible to all – providing an invaluable mine of information and expertise for Knowledge Centre users.
Although the DfT provided the investment required to design, build and commission the Knowledge Centre, once it was up and running the onus for future funding fell to Road Safety GB as custodians of the resource.
Almost immediately, Colas, who at that time had recently partnered with Road Safety GB as a sponsor for the National Road Safety Conference, stepped forward with an offer to fully fund the Knowledge Centre for the 12-month period post launch.
That arrangement has remained in place ever since, with Colas acting as sole sponsor of the Knowledge Centre and fully funding the day-to-day costs associated with maintaining the resource.
Sonya Hurt, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “The road safety profession owes a debt of gratitude to Colas.
“They, like Road Safety GB, could see the need for, and potential of, the Knowledge Centre – even in its infancy when virtually no one had heard of it or was using it.
“They took a leap of faith alongside Road Safety GB, without which we may not today have a resource which is very well used by road safety professionals both here in the UK and much further afield.”
Colas operates nationally in the highways and airfields sectors, delivering sustainable solutions for design, building and maintenance of the UK’s transport infrastructure. It has over 1,600 employees in the UK working out of more than 25 locations, and has been involved with the UK’s highways since the 1920s. Colas is part of the International Colas Group, one of the world’s leading road construction and maintenance organisations.
Lee Rushbrooke, Colas Limited chief executive, said: “At Colas, we are very proud to support and be associated with the Road Safety Knowledge Centre, and to have shared the journey of its evolution. It is very rewarding to have watched the Knowledge Centre develop into such a powerful and well-used resource.
“The significance of the Knowledge Centre also reflects the high priority that Colas places on safe driving, with road safety being an integral part of the company’s health and safety culture, driven by the Colas ‘Safer Attitudes in Driving’ campaign over last 15 years, which we hope can provide a model that can assist others.
“Within Colas we are focussed on ensuring that all our employees are safe on the roads, and we are delighted to support the wider community in our initiative.”