Safer Roads Fund gains royal recognition
The Safer Roads Fund has won a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for the "fine example of collaboration" and the "outstanding achievement" of the overall programme. The East Riding of Yorkshire Council worked to develop the road safety scheme on the A161 between Goole and the North Lincolnshire boundary with support from the Road Safety Foundation.
The £100 million Safer Roads Fund was established by the Department for Transport following a successful pathfinder programme delivered by Road Safety Foundation and commissioned and financially supported by the RAC Foundation and the Department for Transport. The Safer Roads Fund programme focused on treating the 50 highest risk local A road sections in England with remedial road safety engineering interventions. Together the Safer Roads Fund schemes are set to prevent around 1,450 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years. The value of prevention for the schemes is £550 million compared with the whole life cost of treatments of £125 million. The Benefit to Cost ratio for this portfolio of roads is estimated to be 4.4, meaning that for every £1 invested, £4.40 is returned in terms of societal benefit. This demonstrates how road safety interventions can compete favourably with other major transport projects.
In a letter to Dr Suzy Charman, Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent said: "I was delighted when the Westminster Government announced the Safer Roads Fund. The importance of sound investment at local level will provide many long-overdue improvements, not just in the 50 most dangerous stretches of 'A' roads in England, but elsewhere too. The innovative approach which the fund has triggered by bringing new methodologies to so many local authorities is indeed a step-change in practice and a huge stimulus to deploying a Safe Systems approaches by many roads authorities."
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: "I am delighted our Safer Roads Fund has been recognised for its life saving work. It was designed to prevent thousands of tragedies on our roads, and the Department will continue to work tirelessly on this priority as we move forward."
Dr Suzy Charman, Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation said: "We are delighted that the DfT's investment in the Safer Roads Fund is recognised with this award and hope that the fund will be replicated both here in UK and overseas. We share this award with the RAC Foundation whose initial support allowed us to undertake the pathfinder project that was a catalyst to the Safer Roads Fund, and of course we also share the award with our local authority partners who worked hard to design and implement their schemes."
Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation said: "We were delighted to commission and financially support the Road Safety Foundation to embark on the Safer Roads Pathfinder Project, which quickly made the case for a larger scale Safer Roads Fund. The pathfinder and wider Department for Transport project together represent a significant step change in practice in supporting local authorities to apply a new proactive safe systems approach to risk management on exceptionally high-risk routes. The tools and guidance developed by this project will undoubtedly benefit countries beyond the UK. We are delighted that the scope and impact of this work has been recognised with this award."