The chair of Road Safety GB has spoken about the need for road safety professionals to work in real partnerships and to share knowledge and expertise, in order to deal with the ‘very different’ financial world the profession finds itself in.
Alan Kennedy made his remarks while addressing delegates at the RSS annual project managers’ conference in Manchester last week.
He also outlined Road Safety GB’s commitment to work closely with RSS to gain the support of other road safety organisations affected by government-imposed budget cuts. The two organisations will also engage with the government to find a way to continue to protect road users and minimise casualties.
Alan Kennedy said: “The financial situation will clearly be very different in the future and road safety professionals will have to adapt to this.
“For many years we have been working in a competitive world, that has actually been badged as ‘multi-agency working’.
“Despite some excellent partnership arrangements around the UK, the reality is that many organisations, agencies and individuals are unable to form effective partnerships because of local politics and policies, and in some cases a lack of will.
“With so many organisations involved in road safety, all wanting to be at the head of the field, competition was inevitable and this has been detrimental to effective and efficient casualty reduction.
“We also have to be brave enough to say what we think to those who expect us to deliver road safety programmes that look good in the media – but are actually not effective.
“We have to share our expertise and our depleted resources to get economies of scale and develop regional and national resources and programmes that are tested.
“There is a wealth of expertise out there and some excellent initiatives at local level. We must share this expertise, particularly in the current financial situation.”
The RSS meeting was opened by Meredydd Hughes, chief constable of South Yorkshire Police and chair of RSS, who spoke about the challenges facing us all in the future. He was optimistic that a workable solution would come through in the end.
RSS’s Trevor Hall spoke in more depth about the current situation and ongoing discussions with the government and road safety minister, Mike Penning.