A new strategy to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries in Leeds by 2040 will be discussed by senior councillors next week.
The Leeds Safer Roads Vision Zero 2040 strategy will be considered at the meeting of the executive board at Civic Hall on Wednesday 9 February. At the meeting, the councillors will be asked to endorse the approach and approve a public consultation.
The strategy has been developed by the Leeds Safer Roads Partnership, led by Leeds City Council, with partners including West Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, National Highways, and charities. It recognises that responsibility lies with everyone who uses the public highway each day, whether as drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists, as well as those who plan and manage the transport system.
Significant progress has been made in reducing casualties on Leeds’s roads since 2000, but in recent years the decline has started to plateau.
Between 2016 and 2020, there were 1,455 crashes on roads in Leeds, which killed 83 people and seriously injured 1,498 people. Road crashes typically involve motor vehicles, but most of the victims who were killed or seriously injured were on foot, on a bicycle, or riding a motorbike.
The Leeds Safer Roads Vision Zero 2040 strategy aims to improve road safety for everyone. It comprises five ‘Safe System pillars’ to comprehensively address road danger:
- Safer Behaviours and People – Reducing the likelihood of road users making mistakes or taking risks through targeted enforcement, education programmes and safety training.
- Safer Speeds – Implementing a range of initiatives encouraging people to drive at an appropriate speed.
- Safer Roads – Designing safer roads and junctions to reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions.
- Safer Vehicles – Supporting changes to vehicle standards to improve safety for all road users.
- Post-collision Learning and Care – Learning from road crashes and raising awareness of support available for victims and their families.
Should the executive board give its approval, a public consultation will launch on Monday 28 February for Leeds residents to give their views.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council executive member for infrastructure and climate said: “This new strategy represents a seismic change in our approach to road safety. Behind the statistics, every time a person is killed or seriously injured on our roads is a tragedy. Someone’s life has been cut short, leaving behind a devastated family, or their health has been affected.
“Leeds is the first city in West Yorkshire to adopt the ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road danger, and the Leeds Safer Roads Vision Zero 2040 strategy is our ambition to eliminate fatal and the most serious road injuries from our city within the next 18 years. It will require all partners, businesses, local, regional and national governments and individuals to play their part and will require additional significant funding across a wide range of areas.
“Improving road safety will encourage people to walk or cycle instead of driving for their short journeys, helping us achieve the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy’s aim to be a city where you don’t need a car. Vision Zero will also contribute to the council’s ambitions of improving air quality and achieving carbon neutral status by 2030.”