Lancashire Council Invests In Road Safety Measures

Local Authority Commits £1 Million to New Research Programmes

11.10.2013

Lancashire County Council has announced plans to invest £1 million into road safety schemes across the region.

It will release the funding once extensive research into accident hotspots and general attitudes towards motoring has been completed.

Councillors want to have access to the very latest figures and reports before committing to any specific schemes.

Government statistics showed there were 1,754 people killed in road accidents across the country in 2012, while 23,039 serious injuries were also sustained.

Although he believes Lancashire is performing better than the national average, county councillor John Fillis insisted he is aware that communities are still concerned about road safety.

"We will be providing £1 million to establish schemes to reduce accidents based on solid evidence," he commented.

Mr Fillis confirmed that data collected by police every time there is a serious accident across Lancashire will be analysed and the research methodology will be scrutinised by a local university.

"We believe by working with all our partners utilising our abilities and determination we can make our roads safer for the people of Lancashire," he continued.

"The funding for the schemes will be made available once the evidence has been established and will not affect existing services."

One programme that is already ongoing is the enforcement of 20 mph speed restrictions in built-up areas and outside schools. This, Mr Fillis added, is likely to be a long-term campaign.

Although the council is yet to decide how the £1 million investment will be spent, it has outlined a number of possibilities.

These include the introduction of chicanes, speed humps, safety signs and junction improvements, as well as a number of educational programmes.

It said more local engagement initiatives such as 'Community Road Watch' and 'School Road Watch' - which allow local people to work more closely with the police on road safety campaigns - could be created.

The local authority will also use its research findings to identify specific target groups for potential road safety awareness programmes. 

Expert Opinion
To see a local authority invest such a headline figure into the issue of road safety is obviously a hugely positive sign.

“Research into safety and specific hotspots, as well as general attitudes, will play an important role in getting to the heart of the key issues which affect people in the county and provide some direction as to how road users and pedestrians can be better protected from risks.

“This kind of commitment to road safety is very welcome and I hope that other local authorities will take the same approach in their areas. The terrible consequences of road traffic collisions are so well known and it is an issue which simply cannot be ignored.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner