Faced with rising deaths and serious injuries on our roads, county council promises new approach to road safety

Cllr Mathew Shuter.

Cllr Mathew Shuter. - Credit: Archant

Killed or seriously injured casualties in Cambridgeshire rose by 21 per cent from 286 in 2015 to 347 in 2016 and the latest 2017 figures (August 2016 - July 2017) show 412.

“Factors such as reduced funding, driver behaviour, changes to the way collisions are recorded and people’s lack of fear about being caught committing traffic offences are all thought to have contributed,” said a county council spokesman.

The council believes that it can reduce the total cost to local health and social care budgets of all collisions in Cambridgeshire by £5 million.

At the highways and community Infrastructure committee next week (March 13), councillors are to discuss proposals to tackle the challenges facing the county.

Committee chairman Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “

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“We take the current trends in the figures and the challenges related to reducing road casualties seriously, which is why we’re suggesting a distinct change in approach.”

He said: “These proposals outline a new model for road safety.

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“They will enhance the council’s ability to provide communities and other organisations with direct access to a range of road safety services as well as the potential for sharing services with others and the wider road safety partnership.”

The recommendations include a new methodology for assessing injury collision hotspots, and funding a list of safety improvement schemes for the coming year.

The spokesman said: “The council has the opportunity to change its approach in response to these challenges and address the current trend in collisions across Cambridgeshire.

“The proposed road safety hub approach, if approved, will deliver a core function and offer services and expertise to others, such as child road safety education, investigating collision hotspots and safety auditing planned changes to roads.”

Another recommendation includes a new process for the identification of high risk locations based on recorded injury collisions.

At the moment a single complex system is used to define a cluster site up to 1500m in length.

The new proposal would see a simplified process, looking at both localised cluster sites as well as whole routes. This way the level of road safety risk can be highlighted for specific routes and locations, which will inform the prioritisation of available improvement funding.

Work could also begin to review the safety camera equipment across Cambridgeshire and the need to upgrade existing safety cameras to digital technology.

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