Bristol unveils 10-year ‘safe systems’ plan

12.00 | 23 March 2015 | | 1 comment

Bristol City Council has launched a 10-year plan to reduce the number of collisions and casualties on the city’s roads and at the same time “improve health and wellbeing”.

The plan, ‘A Safe Systems Approach to Road Safety in Bristol’, is based on the principle that almost all road deaths and injuries are preventable and “lives and health should not be compromised by mobility”.

The plan says fear of injury currently deters many people from making sustainable travel choices, and quotes figures from 2013 showing that 55% of people killed and injured on Bristol’s roads were pedestrians and cyclists.

The plan includes the following six action points:

• Working with partners to reduce the cost of public transport, enhance travel information and encourage more reliable public transport choices.

• Continuing to improve the city’s cycle network towards best European standards.

• Reducing emissions to help protect people from the harm caused by poor air quality.

• Removing the “blight of commuter congestion” and improving flows for public transport and those who need to drive.

• Promoting walking and cycling as safe, pleasant and convenient alternatives to the car.

• Continuing improvements to layouts to create civilised spaces and people friendly streets with an emphasis on safety for children.

George Ferguson, mayor of Bristol, said: “Almost all road deaths and injuries are preventable and it is our joint responsibility to do everything we can to minimise these and reduce their frequency and severity. Every citizen – no matter of what age, has the right to move around Bristol safely and without undue risk of being injured by traffic.

“I am determined to ensure that we take all necessary measures to improve the quality of life, including the health and safety of all who live, work and visit Bristol.”



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    There are two completely different ‘approaches’ that can be taken with regard to safety, the ‘safe systems approach’ as promoted by our friends in Bristol or the ‘system safety approach’. Confused? You should be and so that is why advocates of the system safety approach have come up with a new name for it that more accurately represents what it is all about. We have to thank Professor Erik Hollnagel for coining the term ‘Safety II’ as the new name for what we will all be using to inform road safety policy in the coming years.

    Eurocontrol, the pan-european air traffic control service is the first of a growing number of major safety-critical organisations to embrace Safety II and they have written a couple of documents to help explain the concepts and ideas in a clear and concise way. Although the documents are written from the air traffic management perspective, the joy of Safety II is that it is directly transferrable to any complex system (such as road transport) where humans are involved.

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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