A new pressure group is urging the Government to show leadership, through robust and new Road Safety Strategy policies and investment to make our roads and urban spaces safe and healthy.
The Safe Roads for All Alliance says a new strategy is urgently needed and would “prevent thousands of tragic deaths, catastrophic injuries, killer respiratory disease, as well as carbon emissions and more than £33bn in costs to society”.
The report by leading road safety experts and organisations has been delivered to the Department for Transport.
The report also heralds the launch of the Safe Roads for All Alliance, which is made up “of national concerned organisations” backing the report. The report, also called Safe Roads for All calls on Government to launch a robust Road Safety Strategy in advance of the COP26 UN Climate Change conference this autumn, and take significant steps “to end the carnage, end polluting vehicles, provide safe infrastructure, get people walking and cycling without fear of harm, and help road victims”.
A bouquet of four red roses and five white roses, symbolising the flowers placed daily at roadsides, gravestones and bedsides of road victims across the UK, was handed over to the DfT along with the report. The roses represent the four deaths, and even higher numbers of life-changing injuries such as paralysis and permanent head injury, that happened every day in 2020 on UK roads, despite less traffic due to the pandemic.
The report says that the savings to Government, society and the planet far outstrips the costs of vital road safety measures in our towns and on urban, rural and main roads, such as cycle paths, safe crossings, crash barriers, and many other solutions – including vehicle design standards and driver regulations and enforcement. The report highlights that the Government’s own figures estimate a ‘value of prevention’ of crashes alone of £33.5bn, including medical and ambulance costs, police costs, lost output (e.g., ability to work), and human impact (e.g., pain, shock and grief). Work by the Road Safety Foundation included in the report suggests that for every £1 the Government spends on safer road infrastructure, £3.70 could be saved.
Safe Roads for All, which can be read at www.saferoadsforall.org is co-authored and supported by UK road safety experts representing organisations and charities including Brake, the road safety charity, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), the Road Safety Foundation, RoadSafe, TRL and Royal Haskoning.
The report is also being backed by a growing Alliance of national organisations with a deep concern to prevent deaths and injuries on roads and enable the safe and healthy movement of people, including the above organisations and others, such as Air Ambulances UK, The Ramblers, and the walking and cycling charity Sustrans.
(Picture – Safe Roads for All)