Dying for capital spending: Local road safety on the ropes

27/11/2018
Dominic Browne

The head of the Road Safety Foundation (RSF) has raised concerns about the state of local road safety engineering in the UK, suggesting the necessary skills and finance are simply dying out.

Dr Suzy Charman (pictured), executive director of the RSF, told the Road Safety Markings Association's annual conference that the situation had become critical in local government.

Fresh from the success of the £100m Safer Roads Fund (SRF) to tackle 48 stretches of dangerous road, Dr Charman outlined how much of a breakthrough the cash was.

'A lot of the local authorities told us they had no capital to spend on road safety and even the larger counties would have £1m to £1.5m to spend a year. These are very small amounts when it comes to road safety.

'We came along with the Safer Roads Fund cash and said, "you have £2m to spend on just one road", so it was a real game-changer, and really important to keep those road safety engineering skills alive.'

Roads targeted by the fund could be up to 50 times more dangerous than other routes.

The £100m cash pot was originally slated as £175m but was scaled back, with the remaining £75m unanswered for. The cash has been allocated and will be spent by March 2021.

'We estimate 1,450 lives and serious injuries will be saved over 20 years [because of the SRF] with a societal benefit of £550m. When you factor in maintenance and refreshment it has a benefit cost ratio for the whole portfolio of 4.4. This is much higher than HS2's [estimated at around 2.27 by government].'

Road safety improvements have stalled in the UK, in part due to the reduction in financing and skills in local government, meaning the international target of halving road deaths by the end of the decade is set to be missed. 

Dr Charman told the RSMA: 'We have done well since the 1970s. road death numbers dropped off fairly swiftly. We have had two plateaus - one in the late 90s and most recently since around 2010/2011.

'That is in the context of international endeavours and sustainable development goals that are trying to see road deaths reduce by half within a decade. Really we should be trying to reduce deaths by half since 2010. We are not going to get there we are not going to get even close to there.

'Our calculations show by not halving deaths, we have lost an extra 2,500 people to road traffic crashes. An astonishing number just because we have not been tracking what we should have been.'

Highways jobs

Sustainable Travel Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33,600 - £45,400 per annum
Are you passionate about the environment, and the support services required to keep it safe, clean and green? Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Parks Constable

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,726 per annum
You will have previous experience as an attested police officer or as a Special Constable, British Transport Police or Royal Parks. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Collision Investigation Officer

Transport for Greater Manchester
£26,844.00 - £38,228.00 Per Annum
Are you excited by the opportunity to make a difference to the roads of Greater Manchester? Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Transport for Greater Manchester

2 x Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety)

Dacorum Borough Council
£31,218 to £39,786 (Inclusive of London Fringe Weighting) + Car Allowance   
Seeking to appoint 2 x fully qualified Environmental Health Officer’s to work within our... Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Dacorum Borough Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788
We seek an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recruiter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Head of Asset Management (Regeneration & Environment)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£55,856 - £59,773
We have a current vacancy for the role of Head of Asset Management, and we are looking for a dynamic individual to lead the service Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Environmental Education Assistant

Brent Council
£22,779 - £24,030 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
Looking for instructors who complement our enthusiastic, motivated and friendly staff team. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Structures Asset Manager

Kent County Council
£52,713 - £58,774 per annum (salary dependent on experience) 
If you have the ability to succeed in either of these roles and are able to prioritise competing demands and objectives, coupled with... Ashford, Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Structures Senior Engineer

Kent County Council
Starting salary £33,082 per annum
Providing engineering support for maintenance of highway structures, liaising and working closely across KCC. Ashford, Kent
Recruiter: Kent County Council

Development Management Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782 per annum
The successful applicant for this post will be capable of taking the lead on work within the team associated with... Warwickshire
Recruiter: Warwickshire County Council

Permit Officer – Place

Enfield London Borough Council
£27,228 - £29,241
You will have the ability to understand and learn relevant legislation and be able to work on your own initiative but also work as part of... Enfield (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Enfield London Borough Council

Senior Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 – £45,704 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Community Services Manager

Copeland Borough Council
Competitive Salary
Looking for an energised and enthusiastic candidate to lead and focus the service through the challenges set by the Resources and Waste Strategy. Moresby, Whitehaven
Recruiter: Copeland Borough Council

Highways Infrastructure and Maintenance Manager - Highways Network

Bridgend County Borough Council
£37,813 - £40,760 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arrived inside the Highway Asset Maintenance Team within the Communities Directorate. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recruiter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Business Support Officers - Transport Team (2 Jobs)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Within the Transport Team you will be required to work flexibly in accordance with the needs of the service, which can men... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transportation Planning Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
ou will have an excellent knowledge and understanding of transport policy at both local and national level. Expertise of both people and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Commercial Contract Supervisor

Wirral Borough Council
£30,507 to £32,878
No holding back. No excuses. Just change Wirral. Wirral, Merseyside
Recruiter: Wirral Borough Council

Technical Officer – Pest Control

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £23,836
This job is temporary for up to 11 months from the date of appointment to cover the absence of the current post holder. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Divisional Director Neighbourhoods & Sustainability

Glasgow City Council
£83,708 - £95,232 (LDR3a, Grade 11)
This innovative role will contribute to the Council Strategic Plan Theme of A Sustainable Low Carbon City Glasgow, Glasgow City
Recruiter: Glasgow City Council

Principal Transport Manager

Be First
Competitive Salary
As our Principal Transport Manager, you will deliver the Local Implementation Plan, ensuring the £2.4million TFL budget is used effectively London (Central), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Be First

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Valuing our roads: What is a network worth?

Also inside:

Traffex review 

Diary of a flood.

Beautiful roads

Live Labs exclusive briefing 

View the latest issue

Latest Video