Agenda item

Road Safety Update

[Electoral Divisions: All]

 

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure.

 

This report is to raise awareness of the road safety management arrangements and activities that the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership currently has in place.

 

Minutes:

A report was considered from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure the purpose of which was to raise awareness of the road safety management arrangements and activities that the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership currently has in place.

The Road Safety Co-Ordinator attended the meeting to advise on his role, that of the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership and the Casualty Reduction and Safer Highways (CRASH) Group. He explained the main reasons for accidents; these related mainly due to driver behaviour. Rarely was the condition of the road surface to blame for accidents.

A member pointed out that the figures did not take into consideration the population in the districts, the length of roads and the number of visitors coming into the area. He asked if figures were broken down into accidents relating to visitors or residents. The Road Safety Co-Ordinator advised that figures could be drilled down further but that analysis was based on the figures before members for the Road Safety Plan.

Discussion took place on the CRASH Group for South Lakeland. Some members did not feel informed. Mr Bland offered to substitute for Mr Collins if he could not attend the meetings. The Team Leader Traffic Management – South reported on the work undertaken by the CRASH Group (mainly speeding issues) and how the meetings were conducted with partner organisations. She would bring a report containing the business conducted at the CRASH Group for the last 6 months to the Highways and Transportation Working Group on 19 February 2020 for members’ information.

Members considered that there were a disproportionate number of killed or seriously injured people in South Lakeland due to its large population and the high number of rural lanes and a large number of large motor vehicles using the narrow lanes. The Road Safety Co-Ordinator stated that accidents usually related to driver behaviour rather than road infrastructure but that he was undertaking a review of the road infrastructure.

Members wanted increased visibility of the work being undertaken by the CRASH Group. A member asked if there was a forum for people with good ideas on road safety to feed into, highlighted the importance of a change in driver behaviour and queried the opportunity to work with companies on employee driver behaviour. In response, the Road Safety Co-Ordinator explained the work being undertaken with Highways England on this matter

A member raised the issues with road safety for residents living alongside the A590. A number of fatalities had led to joint meetings with organisations such as the Police and Highways England to try and improve road safety. She expressed her frustration in trying to resolve the issues and stressed the importance of linking with the Road Safety Co-Ordinator to ensure the issues in her division were being discussed. The Road Safety Co-Ordinator undertook to investigate the issues and respond to the member.

Another member considered that resources such as videos about road safety should be shared with Parish and Town Councils. It was raised that residents’ concerns should be heard and their road safety experiences taken on board by officers. The sharing of accident information in local press in order to raise the profile of road safety was suggested and the Police were encouraged to increase the number of drivers stopped for speeding.

After highlighting that the local member should be informed of any issues at the CRASH Group, it was noted that officers should use the Member/Officer Protocol so members were kept informed. A member suggested that road safety be taught in schools after he stated that a lot of accidents were caused by young people who had just passed their test. One member highlighted the importance of Public Health in road safety after explaining that many people involved in accidents were infected with a toxin. Another member asked for detailed figures to be shared with District and Parish Councils. It was noted that international visitors using hire cars who were used to driving on the opposite side of the road may have a lack of knowledge of the road system. Therefore there was an opportunity to work with car hire firms.

The Chair asked the Road Safety Co-Ordinator to take on board the points raised by members.

RESOLVED that,

1             the information contained in the Report be noted

2             a report containing the business conducted at the CRASH Group for the last six months be brought to the Highways and Transportation Working Group on 19 February 2020

Supporting documents: