Brighton & Hove Labour For the many, not the few
Road Safety Week runs from November 14th to November 20th. The week is an annual event and the biggest road safety awareness event in the UK.
The theme of Road Safety Week 2022 is SAFE ROADS FOR ALL, bringing people together to raise awareness that every life on our roads matters, and every death and injury is preventable.
Every 22 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a UK road. In 2021, 1,558 people were killed on roads in Britain, and more than 25,000 people suffered serious injuries. Road crashes cost the UK economy around £36 billion every year.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has expressed concern about the lack of progress in reducing deaths and serious injuries on the roads for a number of years.
Some groups are particularly vulnerable, such as children, young people and older people.
Pedestrians are often overlooked vulnerable road users. At some point in every journey on the road everyone is a pedestrian. Apart from walking, pedestrians may also use wheelchairs, motorized scooters, walkers, canes, skateboards, and roller blades. People who are running, jogging or hiking, or standing on the road are also pedestrians.
Your Brighton & Hove Labour Councillors have seen an increase in our residents raising traffic calming measures. The Labour Group have supported all of these requests by asking for reports, so that progress can be made. Our communities need to be listened to. People should not feel ignored but we are concerned that there is a lack of commitment from the Green administration.
Labour councillors recently supported local residents in Whitehawk achieve their goal of lowering the speed limit on Wilson Avenue, Brighton, after receiving complaints about accidents in the area.
We called for an update to our city’s road safety strategy, including road danger reduction measures and increased pedestrian crossings almost two years ago and we have supported the many residents who have come to committee requesting speed reduction measures and crossings in their communities – but again, we are still waiting for any of these reports to materialise.
The Labour Group asked challenging questions on this at the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The Road Danger Reduction approach to achieving safer roads seeks a genuine reduction in danger for all road users by identifying and controlling the principal sources of threat.
The ability to measure the characteristics leading to road danger on our streets, rather than simply the number of casualties, would enable us to proactively tackle danger before it leads to collisions, and to transform streets where people are afraid to walk and cycle.
Your Labour councillors have frequently raised issues of safer roads, safe vehicles and speeds, the new hierarchy of road users, and the importance of inclusivity to keep us all safe on the roads, no matter who we are or how we travel.
We have helped progress two important plans for the city: A fifth Local Transport Plan and the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).
Both started under the Labour administration, and the (LCWIP), will set out strategic plans for improving the walking and cycling environment in the city and we would like to expand on this.
Safe mobility around our city is central to the quality of life of all who live and work in Brighton and Hove. An updated road safety strategy will set out our vision for road safety and inform policies to achieve that goal. The citizens of Brighton and Hove should be able to go about their daily lives without being placed under undue risk of injury from traffic.
More can and must be done.
Labour’s joint spokespeople for environment, transport and sustainability, Cllr Gary Wilkinson and Cllr Nancy Platts