Government 'still committed' to road investigation branch but no date given

10/03/2023
Dominic Browne

Roads minister Richard Holden MP has confirmed that the Government is still committed to creating a Road Safety Investigation Branch (RSIB) but has declined to say when it will be up and running.

Mr Holden (pictured) said the Government will bring forward measures 'as soon as Parliamentary time allows'. 

It is now almost a year since the Government first officially announced plans to create the RSIB.

The ministerial commitment came in answer to a written question from Labour MP Gill Furniss on what progress had been made on the project 'and when he expects that Branch to be fully operational'.

Mr Holden declined to detail the progress and simply stated: 'The Government intends to bring forward measures to enable the creation of a Road Safety Investigation Branch as soon as Parliamentary time allows.'

After a four-year trial led by the RAC Foundation, ministers announced last summer that the Government would create the country’s first RSIB.

At the time, the Government pledged to recruit a specialised team of inspectors, who will look at how and why crashes happen and provide real insight into how new technologies can be rolled out on UK roads.

There is widely considered to be ‘overwhelming support’ for the move from within the sector. Such a body would bring road safety into line with similar independent bodies that already exist for air, maritime and rail accidents.

On average around 1,700 people die every year on the roads in Great Britain.

There were 1,752 reported road deaths in 2019 (pre-COVID), similar to the level seen since 2012, following a period of substantial reduction in fatalities from 2006 to 2010.

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