DfT shows concerns about local road safety delivery

Independent research into local road safety, commissionedby the Department for Transport (DfT), highlights concerns over staff and funding cuts, data analysis and co-ordination between stakeholders (LocalGov.co.uk).

LocalGov.co.uk says that the 3 year project, carried out by AECOM in association with the Tavistock Institute, also found ‘a shift towards route  and area-based treatments, and increasing consideration of specific groups such as motorcyclists, through targeted interventions’.

The report, Delivery of Local Road Safety, says that ‘staff reductions and restructuring are leading to the loss of established core functions and skills, and management input’, and that ‘staff turnover and a lack of succession planning continue to be central threats to effective delivery’.

Mike Penning, road safety minister, said: “We hope the report will be of interest to local authorities who are responsible for decisions on local road safety delivery and evaluation.”

Richard Redfern, AECOM’s regional director for transportation, said: “The evaluation demonstrated that road safety is a complex matter that requires the involvement of numerous agencies, such as the police, fire and rescue services, the Highways Agency, health authorities and other stakeholders.”

Data analysis concerns were raised over the ‘heavy reliance on external or centralised support’, a lack of ‘awareness and expertise in evaluation methodologies and their value’ and the ‘limited capacity to design and undertake a robust evaluation programme’ in local authority education, training and publicity teams.

The report also found the dispersal of road safety activities across regions and departments can lead to lack of co-ordination – in road safety interventions for school-age children, for example.