Welcome to the January 2018 edition of the Road Safety Newsletter.   This newsletter has been written for the benefit of those working in the road safety field or who are interested in the topic.

Major Road Network Consultation

On 23rd December 2017 the Department published a consultation on ‘Proposals for the creation of a Major Road Network’ (MRN).

The creation of an MRN will dedicate significant funding to improve a middle tier of our busiest and most economically important local authority ‘A’ roads, which sit between the national Strategic Road Network and the rest of the local road network.

The MRN will see up to £100 million available for each road enhancement scheme on the new network, funded from the National Roads Fund, which from 2020 will be paid for by Vehicle Excise Duty.

The MRN will improve connectivity and productivity in towns and cities across the UK, delivering safer, faster and more reliable journeys.

The consultation will close on 19 March 2018. The consultation documents and an indicative map of the network are available at



Cycle Safety Review

The Government’s review on cycle safety, announced September 2017, is underway.  The review consists of two phases:  the first phase will analyse the case for creating a new offence equivalent to causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous driving.  The second phase will be a wider consultation on road safety issues relating to cycling.  Further details will be announced shortly.

THINK! Drink Driving Campaign

The annual THINK! Christmas drink driving campaign was launched on 7 December. THINK! partnered with KISS FM and Ladbible to deliver radio and social media content to target young drivers, who are over-represented in drink driving casualties. The key message to young people was to encourage their friends not to get behind the wheel after drinking.

THINK! also partnered with commercial brands to deliver the drink drive messaging over the Christmas period, including: Diageo/Johnny Walker’s Join the pact campaign; Budweiser’s zero alcohol beer; Coca-Cola’s buy one get one free offer to designated drivers; and Arriva’s free return journey on buses in 7 regions in England and Wales.

The THINK! drink driving campaign will continue in 2018 with a new video which centred on the friendships amongst young men and particularly their openly emotive closeness defined as bromance. The aim of the campaign is to encourage young men to step in and challenge a mate when he might be tempted to drink and drive. Peers are hugely influential in the lives of young people and we hope to use this to tackle drink drivers. The new video will be promoted online and in social media.

THINK! road safety resources are available online at: http://think.direct.gov.uk/


Sharing the UK’s Experience of Drug Driving Enforcement

Over recent years we have seen a rise in the prevalence of drug driving, both in the UK and across the world. It is no coincidence that there is a strong commitment to sharing advances in drug driving research and lessons learnt from policy interventions across the global road safety community. DfT officials recently attended two drug driving conferences to share the findings of the first year of implementation of Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (see the full published report here).

The Third International Symposium on Drug-Impaired Driving, hosted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, brought together experts from around the world to share the latest findings from drug driving enforcement regimes and the latest research into the impairment effects of drugs, with a focus on the impairment effects of cannabis on driving. Presentations and a conference report will be made available on the conference website later in 2018.

The conference Regulating Drug Driving to Protect all Road Users,  hosted by the European Transport Safety Council, brought together experts from Europe to share results of new enforcement strategies, improved detection technologies, and more effective penalties and rehabilitation courses. Copies of presentations are available on the conference website.


Highways England launches Suicide Prevention Strategy

Highways England has launched a Suicide Prevention Strategy outlining their approach to improve the safety of its roads by reducing the number of people who attempt to take their lives and reducing the devastating impact suicide has when these tragedies occur.


The strategy, which was launched on 27 November 2017, is based on the best available evidence as well as guidance from Public Health England and the Samaritans.


Highways England’s vision is that no one will take their own life on our network, and aim to achieve this in three ways:

1.     Prevention – preventing people reaching a point of crisis, looking at the way we design our network, engaging with local communities and sharing information;

2.     Crisis intervention – providing access to help for those in crisis whether they are on our network or working within our sector; and

3.     Postvention – supporting those affected by suicide and reducing the impact suicide has on individuals and communities.

Some of the initiatives include providing suicide awareness training for employees, improving CCTV and patrols, installing Samaritan signs at known areas, and introducing other deterrents such as boundary markings or lighting.  A mapping tool will also assist with identifying the most frequent locations for suicide incidents.

Jim O’Sullivan, CEO said “The safety of everyone on our network matters. We recognise the wide reaching and devastating impact of suicide for both individuals and communities and the important role we can play influencing and supporting a wider community-based approach to suicide prevention”.

The strategy is supported by a Suicide Prevention Toolkit which provides up to date guidance to support the planning and delivery of suicide interventions at a local level.

In 2012 the government launched its national suicide prevention strategy with the aim to reduce the national suicide rate by 10% by 2020/21. Our Suicide Prevention strategy continues to contribute to the government’s strategy.


Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy

The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) programme is now underway, supporting 44 authorities across England.

We have prioritised those authorities plans that align with wider funding such as The Transforming Cities fund to be delivered at pace. Inception meetings with local authorities have begun so that programme milestones and delivery can be agreed.

The below map shows we have a good geographical spread and a wide selection of local authorities, covering 18,695,194 people, that’s 42% of the population (outside London)


The key outputs of LCWIPs are:

• A network plan for walking and cycling which identifies preferred routes and core zones for further development.

• A prioritised programme of infrastructure improvements for future investment.

• A report which sets out the underlying analysis carried out and provides a narrative which supports the identified improvements and network.

As set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy 2017, this is a new, strategic approach to identifying cycling and walking improvements required at the local level. They enable a long term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks, ideally over a 10 year period, and form a vital part of the Government’s strategy to increase the number of trips made on foot or by cycle further information can be viewed here:


Cycle Rail Programme

A further £4 million will enable the government’s Cycle Rail Programme to continue to be funded next year. The project pays for high quality cycle parking built at stations and has seen bike journeys at participating stations increase by nearly 40%. Since 2012, the Department for Transport has invested almost £35 million to build cycle facilities at stations, including cycle hubs which are secure and have retail and repair facilities.

The pilot Cycling and Walking to Work fund will also be extended by 6 months, with Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Liverpool benefitting from a share of £1.6 million.


Road Safety Trust – Grant Funding Round

The Road Safety Trust has opened its latest grant programme. Applications are welcome for research or the development of practical measures to enhance Road Safety through Engineering, Education, Training or Enforcement.

Applications for innovative projects with the potential to develop new approaches are sought as are projects with a strong focus on Evaluation. Road Safety Trust would particularly encourage Engineering projects to apply, as these have been underrepresented to date.  Please note, as a charitable trust, they do not fund statutory provision or replace statutory funding.

The closing date for applications for this round is 31 March 2018 and details of how to apply are available on the Road Safety Trust’s website https://roadsafetytrust.org.uk/. For further information please contact grants@roadsafetytrust.org.uk.

Please also see the article below which provides some more detail about the work of the Road Safety Trust.

 News from our Stakeholders


The Road Safety Trust – the story so far

The Road Safety Trust (www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk) has now completed three rounds of funding for research and practical interventions to improve safety on the roads. To date, it has supported 35 projects, amounting to just over £2m which makes it the leading independent funder of such projects in the United Kingdom.

The Trust is a responsive funder. In other words, we ask you to identify the project that you want us to support and establish how you will evaluate its effects and its impact. Guidance on how to apply and a list of the projects that we have supported can be found on our website.

All the applications are considered by members of the Trust’s Road Safety Initiatives sub-committee who take their role very seriously. They look at the methodology that is being proposed, knowledge of the subject within the project team, and previous attempts (if any) to tackle a similar problem.

To date, we have funded a range of organisations: charities, consultancies, school PTAs, and research departments at universities. The grant winners reflect the wide number of organisations and bodies involved in making the roads safer.

In the coming months, we will need to develop a methodology for assessing the impact of our projects. We want to know that they are affecting policy, improving practice in the road safety profession or encouraging learning and development. We also plan to liaise with other funders such as DfT, HE, and the RAC Foundation to develop a more strategic approach to funding and to avoid duplication.

The Trust is a new body. To find out more, visit our website and look out for a conference later in the year at which the results of projects will be showcased.

Robert Gifford

Chief Executive



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Thank you to the Road Safety Trust for providing our ‘News from our Stakeholders’ article.  If you too would like to share some news with our readers or provide an article for a future edition of the newsletter please email Sandra Forde at the email address below.

If you would like to be added to, or deleted from, the email list for this publication, please contact sandra.forde@dft.gsi.gov.uk