The role of the police and other emergency services in delivering road safety interventions has diminished as they retreat to ‘core business’, according to new research looking at road safety partnerships.
The report – funded and published by GEM Motoring Assist – looks at how road safety partnerships have been affected since the end of the Road Safety Partnership Grant (RSPG) in March 2011.
It details how local institutions have dealt with changes caused by the demise of the RSPG and other public sector funding cuts, and looks at the barriers to and facilitators of partnership working.
19 road safety officers, whose authorities had previously received the RSPG, were interviewed anonymously.
David Williams MBE, chief executive of GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Partnership initiatives are very important and we know from experience that we can achieve a lot more through them than by working alone.
“Local partnerships are also integral to the Government’s ‘Big Society’ vision so it is more vital than ever to work together with the community. The question is how sustainable are these projects without Government funding?”
The report was authored by Nicola Christie, director of the Centre for Transport Studies at UCL, who said: “Despite the significant investment in partnership working to reduce casualties our research shows that partnerships are struggling to find resources and are feeling uncertain about the future. This seems a travesty given that their key role in trying to reduce one of the leading causes of premature death and injury.”
The report lays out recommendations for the future of road safety partnerships and calls for a systematic reappraisal of what is still feasible. It also calls for key areas to be prioritised and new partnership models to be developed, suggesting that failure to do this is likely to lead to further fragmentation of effort, which may impact on local authorities’ ability to deliver further casualty reductions.
Click here to download the full report.