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Safe roads for all

Safe roads for all

Road safety week, 14-20 November 2022

Road safety week is the biggest road safety campaign in the U.K. Organised by the road safety charity, Brake, it brings together organisations and communities to talk about road safety. Remembering those who have been affected by road death and injury.

The theme this year was SAFE ROADS FOR ALL. Emphasising the importance of everyone following recent changes to the Highway Code. These changes are designed to protect people more at risk, such as those on foot and bicycle.

We all use roads in some way, whether walking, riding, driving or as a passenger. Any person who travels from point A, to point B can therefore be in danger of road accidents. Although road safety week is over, it is important everyone knows about road safety. With this in mind, we encourage you to make sure you know and understand the changes to the Highway Code.

Pictoral explanation of the January 2022 changes to the Highway Code focusing on safe roads for all

So, how are Transport for the south-east working to support road safety?

Transport for the south-east has been working on a strategic investment plan. One of the aims of the plan is to increase road safety for all.

Unfortunately, we cannot ensure that all road users know and follow the Highway Code. But, we have been extensively researching what measures we can put in place to establish the safest roads possible. Here are some examples of how the investment plan is supporting road safety.

Safety enhancements for all road users

The A34 is a major highway, running for over 150 miles. It runs from the A33 and M3 at Winchester in Hampshire, to the A6 and A6042 in Salford, close to Manchester City Centre. Thousands of road users drive on the A34. Meaning lots of people could be affected by its conditions. A Freedom of Information request in 2018 showed there were 471 crashes on the A34 in just over 5 years. These results meant the A34 could benefit from some junction and safety enhancements.

We plan to add more lanes, slip roads and junctions to the A34. Each of these has a different purpose. The lanes will help control and guide all road users, resulting in less congestion. The slip roads will allow the users to filter through traffic safely. The junctions will increase convenience, comfort and safety, they will also enhance the movement of road users.

Our Strategic Investment Plan includes a review of enhancements we can make to the A23 and A27, in the hopes of improving road safety.

It is a fundamental aspect to have adequate junction visibility to reduce collisions. By reviewing junction visibility on the A23 and A27, we can adjust where possible, increasing road safety for all road users.

As well as this, TfSE will be assessing the road surface alignment. This refers to the position occupied by the centre line of a road. Bad alignment can compromise a tyre’s grip on the ground, causing the driver to lose control and possibly crash.

In addition, the Movement and Place Framework, set out in our Transport Strategy looks at prioritising the needs of different road users for different situations. For example, where motorways are suitable for long-distance, fast-paced travel, areas like town centres work more for cyclists and pedestrians. This means conflicts between user types are minimised to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the transport network.

Active Travel Infrastructure

Be it walking to school, cycling to work, or other everyday journeys you make to get from place to place – active travel can offer a convenient, accessible, affordable and more sustainable way to travel. Having the right active travel infrastructure to support this is crucial.

Many local authorities have been developing local cycling and walking infrastructure plans. These will help coordinate the delivery of active travel programmes and also allow more road users to travel safely.

A working example of this is Avenue Verte – a 247-mile cycling and walking route. It starts at the London Eye and ends at Notre Dame in Paris. Passing through Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex and crossing the Channel via the Newhaven – Dieppe ferry. The route is a mixture of on-road, mainly quiet lanes, and traffic-free stretches on old railway paths and riverside routes.

Through the SIP, TfSE would like to see a series of enhancements and extensions to this route network. By way of wayfinding across minor roads, safety interventions at junctions, new cycleways where the route runs on busier highways, and potentially the conversion of part of a disused railway. Giving cyclists greater protected spaces on which to cycle.

Segregated cycle lanes are another option to consider. This is where there is an allocated section of the road for bike use only. Having these would give cyclists the security that cars won’t try and overtake them dangerously and cause an accident.

Making buses more attractive

It’s a fact, if you’re a car owner, bus services do not provide a competitive alternative to cars. When you think buses, you think slow and quite often delayed. This means more people turn to private cars, increasing congestion on our roads. The SIP wants to make travel by public transport more attractive.

Bus rapid transit systems is one way to do this and is an option we have explored in the SIP. Providing dedicated bus lanes on more of our roads will reduce delays and make public transport more accessible, efficient and popular. Easing congestion and reducing carbon emissions.

Supporting the freight industry

The enhancement of infrastructure and connectivity is a major part of our freight strategy. Freight drivers regularly do long shifts, starting early and finishing late. This is why there must be places where the drivers can rest.

These lorry parks are typically located along the strategic road network and adjacent to major freight generators, to enable drivers to rest sufficiently and plan their route. There are many variations of lorry parking, with a range of different facilities and provisions to serve the interests of drivers across the industry, including overnight accommodation.

Our freight strategy looks towards increasing the provision of lorry parking and driver rest facilities through adopting different funding and operational models. With the hopes of including them in locations close to major international (port) gateways at Dover, Southampton, Portsmouth, and Folkestone, as well as along the M25, to cater for traffic travelling around London.

Rested drivers are safer drivers!

A long-term vision…

Our Strategic Investment Plan sets out our thirty-year vision for the region. It aligns with and supports government priorities to increase road safety. But we all have a part to play in creating, SAFE ROADS FOR ALL. It is up to you to know the Highway Code.

Read our Strategic Investment Plan.