Welsh council at loggerheads with Government over road safety


Vale of Glamorgan Council is challenging the Welsh Government to reverse the effects of reduced road-safety funding during the period of the next National Transport Plan.

The Government’s draft NTP - which covers short, medium and long-term timeframes up to 2045 - admits that increasing killed or seriously injured (KSI) rates for vulnerable road users are a concern, with 2013 being the first time that KSIs for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists exceeded car-occupant KSIs. 

In 2013 there were 606 KSIs for pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists and 494 for car, taxi and minibus users in Wales.

The draft document also places a clear burden of responsibility for continuing road safety improvements onto the local level, adding: 'Over the last three decades, KSIs have declined at a rate of between 3-4% a year. Achievements of the 2020 targets will require all responsible authorities/stakeholders to maintain that rate of decline.'

It adds: ‘While measures such as improvements in road engineering and child pedestrian training would appear to have contributed to the decline in KSIs [overall], continued reductions will require us to achieve improvements in other areas such as seatbelt use and preventing use of mobile phones when driving and improve safety for cyclists.'

Vale of Glamorgan’s consultation response questions whether those specific interventions, rather than the delivery of long-term interventions over a sustained period, directly contributed to the KSI decline.

‘It is of concern that many of these interventions are no longer affordable and therefore have stopped being delivered. This will need to be addressed within the Plan period,’ it says, also calling for further analysis of the past and future impacts of reduced Education, Training and Publicity on casualty reduction.

Philip Goose, of road-safety charity Brake, said: 'We would echo the concerns raised about cuts to road safety funding. We know that investment in interventions to make roads safer prevents unacceptable deaths and serious injuries on our roads, as well as making economic sense.

'We believe that we should be seeing more investment, not less, to fund dedicated cycling and walking infrastructure, fund dedicated traffic police, and having a holistic approach to reducing deaths and promoting sustainable active travel where possible.'

The draft plan is out to consultation until 11 March.

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