Liverpool City Council has been awarded nearly £200k to carry out an ‘innovative’ project which involves the trials of two ‘experimental’ pedestrian crossings.
The project, which is being delivered in partnership with Hull City Council, aims to reduce the number of pedestrians who are killed and injured in the two cities every year.
It is the latest project to receive funding from the Road Safety Trust (£196,253), under the theme ‘innovative traffic calming and provision of vulnerable road users’.
Liverpool and Hull have some of the highest rates of adult residents injured as pedestrians in the UK – Liverpool at 48 resident pedestrian casualties per 100,000 people and Hull at 36 per 100,000 each year.
The councils will be trialling two experimental pedestrian crossings developed by the behavioural science company So-Mo, which says they are designed with a ‘deeper understanding of the people who use them’.
An observational study will test if the new elements effectively ‘nudge’ pedestrians to walk to a crossing located nearby, and then encourages them to then use the crossing correctly.
The two-year project – which also involves data analysis experts Agilysis – is currently in the development phase, with the intention of initiating trials in early 2021.
Cllr Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “Far too many people lose their lives or are seriously injured as pedestrians in Liverpool.
“It’s a problem we’ve been tackling and have had some success with over the past decade, but we need to be radical to make the progress we all want.
“I like the fact that these crossings So-Mo have developed are looking at the whole picture – the environment, the location, behaviour – and am encouraged by the level of work that has gone into their designs, as are the Department of Transport and our colleagues in Hull.
Nicola Wass, CEO of So-Mo, said: “We are taking an imaginative, intelligent approach to road safety.
“These crossings have been informed by behavioural science, which means that they have been designed with a deeper understanding of the people who use them.
“The point of doing a trial before launching any new crossings is that it allows us to know, with certainty whether these new elements work or not and also we can expect to achieve similar results in other UK cities.”