Fast progress has been made by the Road Safety Foundation (RSF), working in partnership with local authorities, to deliver safer ‘A’ roads in England.
In Autumn 2016 the RAC Foundation supported a pathfinder project to enable eight local authorities to survey, Star Rate and develop Safer Road Investment Plans (SRIPs) for eleven high risk A-road sections. Soon after this work began, the Department for Transport (DfT) established the ‘Safer Roads Fund’ that will provide £175million capital investment to improve the safety on the 50 highest risk local ‘A’ road sections in England according to last year’s risk mapping analysis. The safer roads funding is for schemes being implemented from 2017/18 through to 2020/21.
RSF trained 16 local authority road safety engineers as part of the pathfinder project, and has worked in partnership with them to develop User Defined Investment Plans (UDIPs) that were included in proposals to DfT’s Safer Roads Fund in April. Following on from this important pathfinder work, DfT has now supported a project to enable RSF to assist the remaining authorities in their submissions for the September deadline for the Safer Roads Fund. As part of this work a further 59 local authority engineers have been trained in the process across four workshops held in London and Leeds at the end of May and beginning of June 2017. Now RSF teams are working alongside those engineers to develop their final UDIPs.
RSF Research Director Dr Suzy Charman, who is leading this work said: ‘Local authorities are really embracing the iRAP approach, and are delighted to have the opportunity and budget to improve these high-risk roads. Some authorities have even commissioned RSF to undertake further surveys on roads that they are concerned about that fall outside of the remit of the ‘Safer Roads Fund’.