Road Safety Plan 2010

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1 Road Safety Plan 2

2 Road Safety Plan C. A. Hudson, CBE Chief Executive St.Helens Council Town Hall Victoria Square St.Helens Merseyside WA HP December 2 St.Helens Council

3 This document has been produced in partnership between: Environmental Protection Department Chief Executive s Department For information regarding this document, please contact: George Houghton (744) Ros Thompson (744) Gillian Roberts (744)

4 Foreword In 29, 63 people were killed or seriously injured and 442 people were slightly injured in traffic accidents on the roads of St.Helens Borough. It is recognised that every accident which takes place has serious consequences, both for the individuals concerned and for the wider community: the grief, pain and suffering caused by loss of life or personal injuries, damage to vehicles and property, the costs of emergency service involvement and medical treatment. St.Helens Council, working closely with our partners on Merseyside, has continued in its efforts over the past year to reduce the number of casualties and the severity of injuries incurred, in response to the national targets which have been set by the Government and the regional targets of Merseyside s Local Transport Plan. There have been some notable achievements over the past 2 months, with the number of accidents and casualties continuing to fall, and being the lowest recorded for many years. Pedestrian and cyclist casualty figures have also fallen. However, there is still much work to be done, by building on the successes which have already been attained, in order to improve road safety in the Borough, particularly for our more vulnerable road-users, such as children and the elderly, pedestrians and motorcyclists. The Council has recently published its fourth Child Safety Audit document, to deal specifically with road safety issues affecting children in the Borough. By identifying the type of accidents which are happening, we are able to make sure that training and educational packages are targeted to those children who are most at risk of injury on our roads, to equip them with the skills they need to keep themselves safe. This Road Safety Plan describes the work which has been done in St.Helens in recent years in the field of road safety, measures the progress which has been made towards achieving targets, and sets out the policies and programmes which will be followed in the coming year. Road accidents have a devastating effect on the lives of everybody affected by them. As individuals, we must all take responsibility for improving safety on our roads, whether drivers, cyclists, passengers or pedestrians. On behalf of the Council, let me take this opportunity to assure you that we too will continue to play our part in reducing accidents in St.Helens Borough. Councillor Marie Rimmer, CBE Leader of St.Helens Council i

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6 Contents. Introduction and Background 3. National Framework and Targets 3.2 Outline of this Road Safety Plan 3.3 The Local Transport Plan for Merseyside 4.4 Co-ordination of Approach 5.5 Child Safety Audit 5 2. Road Safety Strategy for Merseyside 7 2. Targets Programme of Action Road Safety in Disadvantaged Areas 7 3. Accident and Casualty Trends 9 3. Data Sources and Limitations Accident and Casualty Statistics for National Targets User Group Trends 3 4. Schemes and Programmes 9 4. Engineering Measures Education, Training and Publicity Enforcement Joint Initiatives Partnership-Working 28 APPENDICES Local Safety Schemes 3 2 School Travel Plans 37 3 Pedestrian and Cycle Training 39 GLOSSARY 43

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8 . Introduction and Background. National Framework and Targets Highway Authorities in England and Wales have a statutory duty to Prepare and carry out a programme of measures designed to promote road safety, and shall have power to make contributions to the cost of measures for promoting road safety taken by other authorities or bodies (Road Traffic Act 988, Sections 38 and 39). This legislation imposes an obligation on Highway Authorities to:- Carry out studies into road accidents; Take appropriate measures to prevent accidents on new roads; Take appropriate measures to reduce accidents on existing roads; Take appropriate measures to control, protect and assist the movement of traffic; Co-ordinate the dissemination of information and advice, and the provision of training to road-users. The publication of Tomorrow s Roads Safer for Everyone in March 2 outlined the Government s road safety strategy and put forward new casualty reduction targets to be achieved by 2. The previous casualty reduction target set in 987, to reduce total casualties by one-third by the year 2, was not achieved nationally, although this target was met for fatalities and serious injuries. The current targets are more specific in their objectives by requiring the following to be achieved by 2 compared with the average for : A 4% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents; A 5% reduction in the number of children killed or seriously injured; and A % reduction in the slight casualty rate, expressed as the number of people slightly injured per million vehicle kilometres In April 29 the Department for Transport published A Safer Way, a consultation document setting out the vision, objectives and measures for improving road safety in Great Britain for the period beyond 2. The strategy put forward lays specific emphasis on a number of key challenges which need to be faced in the -year period to 22. The key challenges identified for the new strategy include the following: reducing the number of road deaths; reducing pedestrian and cyclist injuries; protecting children and young people; protecting motorcyclists; improving safety on rural roads; reducing poor road-user behaviour; reducing illegal and inappropriate speed. In October 27, the Government published details of Local Area Agreements that have been made with local authorities. These included a series of indicators on which local areas must report. Two of these indicators relate specifically to road safety issues, as follows: NI 47 People killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents. NI 48 Children killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents. Each year, the percentage change in the numbers of casualties compared to the previous year are reported, based on a 3-year rolling average..2 Outline of this Road Safety Plan The Road Safety Plan is a document which is produced annually in order to focus on the current situation within the Borough. It records the progress made by St.Helens Council towards achieving casualty reduction targets, and identifies action which will be taken to improve safety for different road-user groups. The costs, nationally and to the community, of road accidents continue to rise, imposing a social and economic burden. They hide the terrible personal tragedy and most often fail to indicate the total involvement of family, personnel and services. The average value of prevention per accident, by severity, is estimated to be: Fatal,876,83 Serious 25,7 Slight 22,23 Damage-Only Accidents,97 (Transport Analysis Guidance, April 29, Department for Transport) 3

9 At an average value of prevention per injury accident (including an allowance for damageonly accidents) of 2,966 the total value of prevention of injury accidents to the community of St.Helens in 29 was over 39 million pounds! The Council recognises that it should continue with its ongoing efforts to reduce the number of road accidents and casualties, and to achieve national and local targets, through education, training and publicity, both locally and in support of national campaigns, together with introducing engineering remedial measures at specific accident priority sites and on area-wide initiatives. It is acknowledged that co-operation and co-ordination between all accident reduction and prevention agencies is of paramount importance for any significant reduction in casualty figures. The Road Safety Plan sets out the following: National and countywide policies and targets which form the framework for road safety issues at the local level; Statistical background and analysis of accident and casualty data and trends; Monitoring of accident and casualty figures in relation to national and local targets; Details of Local Safety Schemes and other engineering works implemented and proposed; Recent developments and achievements in Education, Training and Publicity programmes; Action taken to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists; Programmes and measures to reduce casualties in areas of deprivation..3 The Local Transport Plan for Merseyside The need to improve road safety and reduce road accidents and casualties are issues which form a fundamental part of the integrated transport strategy for Merseyside as put forward in the Local Transport Plan (LTP) for Merseyside. The first LTP, covering the period 2/2 to 25/6, was published in July 2. The second LTP covers the period 26/7 to 2/, and aims to give Merseyside a safer, sustainable, efficient and integrated transport network, accessible to all. Progress towards casualty reduction targets is recorded in the associated LTP Progress Reports. In the LTP, it is recognised that the safety of people as they use the transport network is of paramount importance. Indeed safety is one of the four key themes in the LTP, reflecting the shared priorities for transport agreed between the Government and local authorities. As part of the LTP process, the five Highway Authorities and Police have worked together to produce a Road Safety Strategy for the whole area of Merseyside. The Strategy has two main themes: it seeks to continue to reduce child casualties, particularly in the more deprived areas, and it proposes additional programmes to tackle risks to young adults. Included within the Strategy is a Casualty Report which identifies newly arising local threats, and proposes additional areas where programmes and measures are required. In addition, the Strategy: Describes the nature and size of the problem of road casualties Sets local targets for casualty reduction in the context of national targets Provides a Plan of Action for the Partners and other Agencies Creates a framework for monitoring Identifies and encourages partnershipworking throughout the process. The policies and road safety issues contained within the LTP are described in greater detail in Section 2 of this Road Safety Plan. Consultation is currently underway on the Preferred Strategy for the third LTP. 4

10 .4 Co-ordination of Approach The Council is committed to improving road safety and reducing the number and severity of accidents occurring on roads within the Borough. A close working relationship has been developed between those sections of the Council which are responsible for determining policies, devising programmes and implementing schemes to achieve the overall objectives: the Development Planning Section of the Chief Executive s Department, responsible for developing policies within the Local Transport Plan framework; the Road Safety and Travel Awareness Team of the Chief Executive s Department, responsible for the Education, Training and Publicity function; the Traffic and UTC Section of the Environmental Protection Department, responsible for accident analysis work and design and implementation of engineering schemes. This co-ordinated approach within the Council ensures that the resources available are targeted effectively to areas where the greatest outcomes can be achieved in an integrated and coherent way. This level of co-ordination extends beyond the Council. Regular meetings of the St.Helens Joint Action Group (JAG) are held, bringing together representatives from a number of organisations with an interest in the road safety field. Under the auspices of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership (MRSP) to whom it reports, the JAG is attended by officers from Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and local bus operator Arriva, in addition to Council officers and MRSP representatives. Emphasis is placed on the sharing of knowledge and pooling of resources, with a view to ensuring that a co-ordinated approach is achieved towards casualty reduction. The work carried out by St.Helens JAG is described in more detail in Section Child Safety Audit The concept of carrying out Child Safety Audits was first introduced by the Government in Tomorrow s Roads Safer for Everyone, and the Child Road Safety Strategy 27 further emphasised the importance of addressing child safety issues. All local authorities should undertake a Child Safety Audit on a regular basis to identify and explore the road safety issues which affect children in their area. In the past, this work was carried out in St.Helens on an informal, ad hoc basis, however in 27 the Council produced its first Child Safety Audit document, and continues to update and publish the document on an annual basis. The document aims to complement the information provided in the Road Safety Plan by exploring in greater depth the road safety situation as it affects children in the Borough of St.Helens. The Child Safety Audit provides an analysis of traffic accidents which have resulted in injuries to children in recent years, and helps to identify the groups of children who are most at risk. The various educational packages, training programmes and publicity campaigns can then be targeted towards the most vulnerable children, to equip them with the knowledge and skills required as road-users, whether pedestrians, cyclists or passengers. Subsequent monitoring to measure the success of the various programmes will help to shape later years work. 5

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12 2. Road Safety Strategy for Merseyside 2. Targets In 987, the local authorities in Merseyside supported Central Government s target for a reduction of one-third in the number of road casualties by the year 2 and achieved a decrease of this order with respect to the number of casualties killed and seriously injured. However, there was an accompanying increase of 5% in the number of casualties reporting minor injuries. This increase in slight injuries was entirely accounted for by a rise of almost 2% in one sector, namely, occupants of cars who reported injury in multi-vehicle collisions. Research by the Transport Research Laboratory, sponsored by the North West Regional Road Safety Group showed that there were parts of Merseyside and Greater Manchester which were particularly affected by increases in this kind of casualty, to a greater extent than elsewhere in the country. The apparent desire of some to make insurance claims to facilitate the award of compensation in lieu of the injury experienced may have had some effect in this sudden and significant increase in reported slight accidents. The national targets for 2 as detailed in Section. are even more challenging than those set previously. In the Casualty Report of the Road Safety Strategy for Merseyside, the national targets were reappraised in light of updated casualty statistics for the region. It was identified that there had been a marked reduction in the number of slight casualties recorded in Merseyside. It is believed that this change derived from a change in accident reporting levels rather than being indicative of an intrinsic reduction in risk. A few years ago, a further target relating specifically to accident reduction was set as part of the Council s Local Public Service Agreement, whereby a 5% reduction in fatal and serious accidents was to be achieved by 25/6 compared with the baseline years of 994 to 998. The Council implemented an ambitious speed reduction scheme along the length of the A58 East Lancashire Road in order to meet this target. The project is described in more detail in Section 4.. St.Helens Council has been rated Excellent in the Audit Commission s Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) ranking. The Audit Commission has deemed that no Authority will be able to be ranked as excellent if it breaches any 2 of 5 performance indicators in the Environment Service, including poor performance on the BVPI for reducing KSI casualties. 2.2 Programme of Action The Road Safety Strategy for Merseyside identifies a Programme of Action, highlighting the interventions required by the various providers to tackle issues for target groups in order to achieve the required casualty reductions by 2. Direct action is required by the local authorities as Highway and Planning Authorities on a range of policy areas within the LTP, including the following: Accident analysis Education, Training and Publicity programmes Safety Audits of Routes to School Local Safety Schemes Speed Reduction Measures Urban Safety Management Safety Audit of all highway schemes Walking strategy Cycling strategy Motorcycling strategy Economic Regeneration and Travel to Work Plans School Travel Plans including Safer Routes Merseyside Road Safety Partnership (in cooperation with the Police). Merseyside Police have direct responsibility for: Operational traffic safety and accident scene management Data Collection and Analysis Targeted Enforcement. 2.3 Road Safety in Disadvantaged Areas There is strong evidence that people from disadvantaged communities are more likely to become road accident victims. Combinations of poor environment, living in highly trafficked areas and greater exposure to traffic increase risk. This is part of an overall health inequality 7

13 suffered by residents of poorer communities. For many years, accident analysis focused on large clusters of accidents (which led to single site action), or on different forms of repeating patterns (which led to mass and route action). Schemes identified in this way tended to be located on the major road network where vehicle and pedestrian flows are heaviest. The Merseyside Local Transport Plan gives special prominence to an additional theme that has emerged from more recent aspects of accident analysis: a higher risk to child pedestrians of road accidents in areas of deprivation. In the LTP the link to deprivation was made via the Pathways Areas. Analysis based on the Government s index of multiple deprivation, as used in the report of the Social Exclusion Unit, shows that 64 out of the 8 wards in Merseyside fall within the % most deprived wards in the country. In these wards live 55% of the child population of Merseyside. Over the five year base period , they suffered 7% of all serious or fatal pedestrian accidents in which children were injured. Investment measures to tackle this issue have been introduced into each District s Highways programmes in response to these findings, and from other detailed analysis. This has included methods of prioritisation for traffic calming and the introduction of a range of other safety measures in housing areas. Alongside the engineering schemes, there has been a focusing of the aims of Education, Training and Publicity to the deprivation agenda. Analysis of accident data has thrown light onto the nature of issues for young pedestrians. Boys are more at risk than girls; young children as pedestrians are more likely to use the local roads close to their home older children travel more widely, making increasing use of main roads; younger children are more likely to be hidden (masked) by parked cars. The increased risk on the way home from school and into the early evening has also been noted. Local analysis has been backed up by national advice in many areas of research. Through Area-Based Grant (ABG) funding and funding through the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, a child pedestrian training scheme called Walk it Safer has been developed. Twenty schools that have at least % of their pupils living in Super Output Areas have received training in Years and 2 to assist them to be safer pedestrians. This course has provided a child pedestrian co-ordinator and seven casual instructors, taken from the community, to deliver the training. This funding has now ended and efforts will be made to continue training. Funding has been received through the ABG for the School Travel Advisor s post in the Borough. Her task is to increase the number of schools with School Travel Plans, with a view to all schools having operational plans by 2. Most importantly, it is necessary to reduce those travelling to school by car. This funding continues to March 2. Other problems have been identified by special surveys showing worrying levels of neglect in the use of seat belts in Merseyside. There is ample evidence that seat belt use is considerably lower in areas of multiple deprivation, particularly in respect of children in the rear seats of cars, with usage found to be as low as 4% outside schools in deprived areas. A lack of awareness of the high level of risk that this poses is believed to be at the heart of this. There is vigorous support for the seat belt campaigns across Merseyside to raise awareness of this issue. New laws came into force in 26 governing the use of child car restraints, and information is disseminated on a regular basis by the Road Safety and Travel Awareness Team to people who carry children in their cars. A service is also offered of checking car seats to ensure they are properly fitted and suitable for the children who are carried in the various types of seat. The focus on accident reduction in these programmes has brought about a concentration of resources in those areas where the problems are greatest. Since 999, over 7% of safetyrelated highway expenditure has taken place in wards within the % most deprived nationally. The need to address accidents in disadvantaged areas is reinforced in both the St.Helens Community Strategy and Local Area Agreement. 8

14 3. Accident and Casualty Trends 3. Data Sources and Limitations The Stats2 document published by the Department for Transport (DfT) entitled Instructions for the Completion of Road Accident Reports defines accidents which must be reported as: All road accidents involving human death or personal injury occurring on the highway, and notified to the Police within 3 days of occurrence, in which one or more vehicles are involved. The standardised report forms used by the Police to record accident details are known as Stats9, and the data recorded is validated before being submitted to the DfT. This information provides the basis for annual road accident and casualty statistics published by the DfT, and is supplied to local authorities, who use it to design and prioritise engineering schemes and to devise appropriate Education, Training and Publicity programmes. However, the accident records maintained by the Police do not necessarily provide the complete picture of the incidence of accidents within the area. In practice, it is reasonable to assume that all fatal accidents are recorded but information relating to serious, slight and damage-only accidents becomes increasingly unreliable as the severity of the accident decreases. It has been shown that a large number of accidents are never reported. Amongst those unlikely to be reported are accidents where the ambulance service does not attend the scene, accidents where no party felt sufficiently aggrieved to call the Police, accidents involving pedal cyclists, single vehicle accidents and accidents involving an offence. The records relating to personal injury accidents must not, therefore, be seen as being definitive but rather as a guide to the true situation. Local hospital records are a possible source of supplementary data concerning casualty details. The position regarding the reporting and recording of damage-only accidents is the least definite. Figures compiled by the Department for Transport indicate that as many as 7% of damage-only accidents go unreported, and the associated available accident data is, therefore, a highly unreliable indication of the true nature and number of this type of accident. The quality of accident data is important and in this respect there is considerable reliance on Police accuracy at the time of the incident, or when an accident is reported at a Police Station. Merseyside Police have recently introduced a new Road Traffic Collision Policy, which covers all aspects of investigating and recording collisions. The implementation of this policy throughout the Police Force will help to improve the accuracy of the available statistical information relating to personal injury accidents. The Council maintains a computerised accident database of all injury accidents reported to Merseyside Police, which is updated on a monthly basis. At sites where in-depth accident investigations are undertaken, a study of Police accident files has also proved invaluable in gaining an insight into the causes and specific details of individual accidents. To assist in the identification and understanding of accident trends, and to advise on potential solutions, the Merseyside Authorities have established a Joint Intelligence Unit with Merseyside Police. This Unit reports to the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, the local authorities and Police group responsible for coordinating the Merseyside Road Safety Strategy. 9

15 3.2 Accident and Casualty Statistics for 29 National Statistics During 29, a total of 63,554 accidents resulting in personal injury occurred in Great Britain, representing a reduction of over 4% from 28. These accidents resulted in 222,46 casualties, as shown in Figure below. Fig. : 29 Casualties in Great Britain Fatal 2,222 Serious 24,69 Merseyside Statistics Within Merseyside there were 3,22 road accidents resulting in personal injury in 29, a decrease of over 8% from the previous year. Figure 4 shows the casualty record for 29. Fig. 4: 29 Casualties in Merseyside Fatal 46 Serious 57 Slight 95,234 Slight 4,25 Total: 222,46 As demonstrated in Figure 2 below, the overall trend in recent years indicates an encouraging downward pattern in both accident and casualty totals. Fig. 2: s Av Trends in Accident and Casualty Totals in Great Britain Casualties Accidents Nationally, the proportion of casualties suffering fatal or serious injuries (KSI) has fallen from the average of almost 5% of total casualties, and has remained around 2 or 3% for the past years (See Figure 3 below). Total: 4,83 The numbers of accidents and casualties in Merseyside rose in 999 and 2 from the average figures, but in the last 9 years have shown a marked decrease, as illustrated in Figure 5. Fig. 5: Av Trends in Accident and Casualty Totals in Merseyside Casualties Accidents In contrast to the national trend, the proportion of KSI to total casualties has risen sharply over recent years, and currently stands above the average, despite a fall in 25, and again in 27, as shown in Figure 6 below. Fig. 3: Proportion KSI to total Casualties in Fig. 6: Great Britain % % 6 2 % Proportion KSI to total Casualties in Merseyside Av Av

16 St.Helens Accident and Casualty Data and Trends A total of 348 injury accidents were recorded in St.Helens in 29, representing a 9% decrease from the previous year. There were 8 fewer casualties, with a total of 55 recorded, of which 4 were fatal, 59 serious and 442 slight (See Figure 7 below). Fig. 7: 29 Casualties in St.Helens Fatal 4 Serious 59 Figure below provides a breakdown of 29 casualties into road-user groups. Recent trends within various user groups are explored in more detail in Section 3.4. Fig. : 29 Casualties in St.Helens by Road-User Adult Cyclists 4 Child Cyclists 7 Adult Pedestrians 37 Child Pedestrians 33 Motorcyclists 38 Slight 442 Total: 55 Accident and casualty figures remained fairly static for a few years, but with the decreases in the last 3 years, they are currently around 55% below the average figures for the five-year period , see Figure 8. Fig. 8: Av Trends in Accident and Casualty Totals in St.Helens Casualties Accidents Vehicle Passengers 4 Vehicle Drivers 235 Currently, much emphasis is placed on reducing danger for vulnerable road-users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in order to encourage more use of these modes of transport. Figure shows the casualty record for these road-user groups since the base figures of Fig. : Vulnerable User Trends in St.Helens % Pedestrians The proportion of fatal and seriously injured (KSI) has fluctuated in recent years, but at 2.5% for 29 is at its highest level in recent times Av Motorcyclists Cyclists Fig. 9: % Av Proportion KSI to total Casualties in St.Helens As can be seen from the diagram, there is a clear downward trend in pedestrian casualties over the time period, with the 29 figure of 7 representing a reduction of over 5% from the figure. Despite increases in motorcyclist casualties in 2 and again in 25, the overall trend in recent years is downwards. The number of cyclist casualties has fluctuated in the last few years, however 29 saw a fall of 6% from the previous year with 2 cyclists sustaining injuries, the lowest figure recorded in recent years. It is difficult to draw conclusions from these patterns, as little information is available relating

17 to comparative numbers of journeys by these modes of travel over the time period. It has been suggested that the perception of danger has led to a decrease in the number of journeys made on foot and by bicycle in recent years, particularly by children when travelling to and from school, and attempts are being made to reverse this trend through various means, including the development of School Travel Plans which leads to the Safer Routes to School Programme. Figure 2 below shows the overall pattern of child casualties in St.Helens. Fig. 2: Child Casualties in St.Helens Av Pedestrians Cyclists Other As can be seen from this chart, following an increase in the number of child casualties in 999 from the average, overall numbers have been decreasing in recent years, with figures for 29 showing another fall. The overall figure of 63 child casualties in 29 is the lowest recorded for many years. 3.3 National Targets In Tomorrow s Roads Safer for Everyone, the Government has set the following road safety targets to be achieved by 2, compared with the average for : A 4% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents; A 5% reduction in the number of children killed or seriously injured; A % reduction in the slight casualty rate. Figures 3 to 5 demonstrate the progress made to date in attempting to achieve these targets within St.Helens Borough. 2 Fig. 3: Trend in KSI Casualties in St.Helens Av Fig. 4: Av Av Target Base Casualty Record Trend Required Target Trend in Child KSI Casualties in St.Helens Target Base Casualty Record Trend Required Target Fig. 5: Trend in Slight Casualties in St.Helens Target Base Casualty Record Trend Required Target 2

18 With the slight casualties and total KSI national targets, St.Helens is currently below, or close to, the trend required to meet the targets by the end of 2. However, the child KSI figure for the last 2 years has shown a disappointing increase which will make the target difficult to achieve. 3.4 User Group Trends Pedestrian Casualties - All ages During 29, a total of 7 pedestrians were injured on the roads in St.Helens Borough. As can be seen from Figure 6, although the total number of pedestrian casualties rose in 28 compared to the previous year, the trend over recent years is downwards. However, this may be indicative of a decline in pedestrian activity, and it is possible that the trend may start to rise again in future years, as people are encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle by walking rather than using the car, particularly for short journeys. Steps will be taken to improve safety for pedestrians through engineering measures, such as the installation of pedestrian crossing facilities and refuges, as well as schemes to reduce traffic speeds. Fig. 6: Pedestrian Casualties Fatal Serious Slight Total 3

19 Child Pedestrian Casualties As can be seen from Figure 7, the number of child pedestrians injured in the Borough increased in 24 and 25, however the 27 figure of 27 casualties was the lowest figure recorded in recent years, and although 28 showed a slight increase to 33, which was repeated in 29, the general trend is still downwards. Breaking down the child pedestrian figures into different age groups, as indicated in the table below, helps to provide further information as to where resources should be directed to target the most vulnerable groups. In general terms, comparatively few children in the pre-school age group suffer injuries as pedestrians, as they are likely to be accompanied by adults, whereas older children are more likely to become casualties as they gain greater freedom to travel independently. Road safety education and training in schools plays an important role in ensuring children are aware of the dangers facing them as pedestrians, and are able to deal with potential hazards when crossing the road. Fig. 7: Child Pedestrian Casualties Fatal Serious Slight Total Child Pedestrian Age Group years Fatal Serious Slight Total years Fatal Serious Slight Total years Fatal Serious Slight Total

20 Older Pedestrians The number of injuries to pedestrians over 6 years of age since 2 is shown in Figure 8. Fig. 8: Pedestrian Casualties over 6 years Fatal Serious Slight Total The number of pedestrian casualties in this age group in 29 was 4, which represented a slight increase from the previous year, although it was still lower than the peak experienced in 25. As might be expected, the injuries incurred by elderly people involved in road accidents are often more severe than those suffered by younger age groups. This is clearly demonstrated by calculating the Severity Index, which is the proportion of fatal and serious casualties compared to the total number of casualties. Since 2, the Severity Index for the under 6 s and the over 6 s age groups is shown in the table below. The Council engages with this age group to promote road safety education and training, with a view to reducing pedestrian accidents and casualty severity. A number of Older Road-Users Awareness Days have been held in recent years for road-users over 55 years of age, offering road safety education for pedestrians, drivers and passengers. The events were organised by Council road safety officers, with assistance from other partners in the field of road safety. Pedestrian Age Group Under 6 years (Severity Index) 8.4% 23.9% 23.6% 8.4% 8.2% 6.4% 7.2% 8.2% 28.6% Over 6 years (Severity Index) 42.% 42.% 4.7% 36.8% 45.5% 27.2% 25.% 46.2% 42.9% 5

21 Adult Cyclist Casualties Fig. 9: Adult Cyclist Casualties Child Cyclist Casualties Fig. 2: Child Cyclist Casualties Fatal Serious Slight Total Fatal Serious Slight Total 26 saw the highest number of adult cyclists injured in road traffic accidents within the Borough for a number of years, with 3 casualties recorded. In the 3 years since then, the figures have fallen each year, with 4 casualties recorded in 29. As with pedestrians, cyclists are particularly vulnerable when involved in collisions with motorised vehicles, and are therefore more likely to sustain severe injuries. The provision of a network of cycle lanes and routes, both on and off the highway, can help to improve safety for cyclists, by reducing the potential for conflict with moving traffic. The number of child cyclist casualties has fluctuated over the years, with the figures of 6 and 7 recorded in 28 and 29 respectively, being the lowest in recent years. However, there are few figures available of comparative levels of cycle use during this period, so it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions. As with child pedestrian casualty figures, it is useful to break cyclist casualties down into age groups to reflect the different educational levels, and to devise suitable training and educational programmes for the various groups. Cyclist Age years Fatal Serious Slight Total 5- years Fatal Serious Slight Total years Fatal Serious Slight Total

22 Motorcyclist Casualties Fig. 2: Motorcyclist Casualties Fatal Serious Slight Total As shown in the Figure above, motorcyclist casualties have been falling in recent years, and despite slight increases in 28 and 29, the overall trend continues to be downwards. A recent study of accidents involving motorcycles in St.Helens Borough revealed that these accidents are scattered geographically, rather than being concentrated at specific locations, with the age band of 6 to 3-year-old riders being most at risk. The most appropriate way of improving motorcyclist safety is, therefore, through educational and training programmes, and publicity campaigns, rather than through the introduction of engineering measures. Contact with local motorcyclist groups and partnershipworking with instructors and examiners is proving invaluable in reducing accidents involving this user group. 7

23 Young Drivers It takes time for newly qualified drivers to acquire the experience and develop the skills needed to cope with the often difficult and potentially hazardous conditions on today s roads. Consequently, studies have shown that younger car drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than more mature drivers, with young male drivers being particularly at risk. The table below provides a breakdown, by age, of car drivers between the ages of 7 and 2 years who have been involved in personal injury accidents in St.Helens Borough over recent years. The table demonstrates that overall numbers in this category of road-user who were involved in accidents has fluctuated in the St.Helens Borough in recent years, however the last 3 years have been comparatively low, with only 7 drivers in this age group being involved in accidents in 29. Efforts will be concentrated towards training and publicity initiatives to improve safety for young car drivers, as well as closer working with motorist groups and driving instructors. Young drivers involved in accidents Driver Age Total Older Drivers It has been demonstrated that reaction times increase and eyesight worsens with age. Many drivers lose confidence as they grow older and voluntarily stop driving altogether, or drive less frequently and over shorter distances. When they reach 7, drivers must apply to the DVLA for a renewed licence, certifying that they are fit to drive, and must re-apply every 3 years thereafter. The table below shows the number of car drivers over 6 years of age who have been involved in injury accidents in St.Helens in recent years. As can be seen, the number of drivers over 6 involved in accidents increased in 27, the figure of 8 being the highest for a number of years, however in the following 2 years, the figures have fallen again, with only 59 drivers over 6 years of age being involved in accidents in 29. Older drivers involved in accidents Driver Age Total

24 4. Schemes and Programmes 4. Engineering Measures Local Safety Schemes In order to ensure that road safety benefits are maximised, it is essential that schemes are promoted that can demonstrate an acceptable rate of return. There are many locations where perceived danger or concern is high but safety problems cannot be established through recorded injury accident statistics. These locations are investigated as resources permit. However, most effort is concentrated at sites where evidence of injury accidents exists and these can be reduced. The Council produces annually a list of sites within the Borough having the highest number of injury accidents during the previous 3-year period. The current list entitled High Risk Sites for Accident Investigation is shown in Table. All sites appearing on this high risk list are subject to initial investigations to determine locations having easily identifiable problems which may be treated by low-cost measures. For example, sites having a high proportion of accidents occurring on wet road surfaces might benefit from resurfacing, surface dressing or specific anti-skid treatment. Similarly, high risk sites having a disproportionate number of accidents during the hours of darkness may benefit from an improvement in street lighting. A number of sites from the high risk list are selected annually for detailed investigation. Police files relating to individual accidents are studied where appropriate, and in-depth site investigations carried out prior to remedial schemes being designed. Implementation of any scheme depends upon the estimated cost of the proposed measures in relation to the total resources available, and the associated prioritisation of schemes. In addition to selecting individual sites for remedial action, attention is also given to identifying stretches of major roads which have experienced high accident rates, where route action treatment might provide an appropriate solution for reducing casualties. To supplement the High Risk Sites list mentioned above, a monitoring system for individual junctions and major routes (comprising A and B classified roads and local distributor routes) has been set up to help to identify locations having poor accident records where remedial action might be required. The figures are updated on a quarterly basis and highlight changes in the rate of accidents, casualties and KSI casualties occurring at each particular junction and on each stretch of road. Such a monitoring tool is invaluable in identifying trends, and provides an early warning of locations with emerging problems, where intervention may be necessary. Mass action treatment is a further way of reducing accidents, by applying one type of measure to a number of similar sites. In recent times, the Council has improved a number of pedestrian crossings each year by the application of antiskid surfacing on the approaches, thereby improving safety for pedestrians. Schemes which are introduced each year under the Local Safety Schemes Programme are monitored for a 3-year period to determine whether they have been successful in terms of reducing accidents. Details of schemes which have been introduced in recent years and are proposed for the current year are given in Appendix to this document. Although many factors can affect the accident rate at individual sites, one of the most significant is traffic flows. This is shown clearly by the fact that many of the sites on the high risk list are located on the A58 East Lancashire Road and the A57 Rainford Bypass, where heavy traffic flows are experienced. Both these roads have been the responsibility of the Highways Agency in recent times, however St.Helens Council assumed responsibility for these routes in April 24 when they were de-trunked. Future Local Safety Schemes funding is, therefore, likely to be spent on accident reduction measures on these roads. One such scheme, which was completed in 26, involved major improvements to the A58/Blindfoot Road and A58/Catchdale Moss Lane junctions. Both of these locations appeared on the table of High Risk Sites, having been the scene of numerous injury accidents over recent years. A funding contribution from the Highways Agency assisted in enabling significant improvements to be carried out at this location, and accidents have reduced considerably since the implementation of this scheme. Work completed in the financial year 27/8 included a scheme to reduce the speed limit on the A57 Rainford Bypass to 6mph, following the success of a similar scheme on the A58 East 9

25 Lancashire Road in 25, as detailed in the following section. During the current financial year (2/), a scheme is being undertaken jointly with the Highways Agency to reduce accidents at the M6/A58/A49 interchange at Haydock Island. The work involves reducing the speed limit at the junction itself, and on the approaches to it, in addition to lining and signage improvements. Local Public Service Agreement (LPSA) Schemes In 25, the Council received from Central Government an allocation of 963,, which was to be used to assist in meeting 2 specific LPSA targets across the whole of the Council s Departments. The Government wished to challenge the Council to achieve these targets, which were purposely set at a higher level than normal Departmental targets. In achieving all the corporate targets, the Council would then receive a substantial funding programme, in the region of 4million, to facilitate further improvements to their services. The LPSA targets set for the Environmental Protection Department related to two specific areas of service delivery, one for improving waste management services and the other relating to road safety. This road safety target was quite specific in that by 25/6 the number of road accidents resulting in Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) casualties was to be reduced by 5% from the baseline years of 994 to 998, as opposed to the national target of 4%. In attempting to achieve this tough target, an assessment of all the road accidents in St.Helens was made, using the Council s accident database. From this analysis, it was clear that the East Lancashire Road (A58), which runs through St.Helens directly connecting Liverpool and Manchester, was identified as making a significant contribution to the number of accidents in St.Helens, particularly relating to severity. Further analysis indicated that whilst the length of this stretch of road accounted for only 2% of the local highway network, it was responsible for % of all accidents in the Borough. Indeed, within the list depicting the high risk sites identified in the Borough as having the worst number of casualties over a 3-year monitoring period, the A58 provided 5 of the sites on that list. The A58 had a derestricted speed limit, and detailed assessment indicated that for the majority of the accidents on this road, speed was one of the primary causations of accidents. The Council deemed it appropriate to submit this route as the primary scheme in which the LPSA target was to be achieved. It was clear that a reduction in the speed limit along the length of the A58, enforced by the use of speed cameras, would have a significant beneficial effect on the number of KSI casualties. A reduced speed limit of 6mph was introduced in January 25, and vehicle-activated signs were installed to encourage drivers travelling above that limit to slow down. From the total funds of 963, allocated by the Government, unsupported credit approval for 38, was allocated for this particular target. The Traffic Section managed this ambitious project, liaising with the Highways Agency, Police Authorities and Neighbouring Local Authorities in order to ensure a smooth delivery of this high profile scheme. The LPSA stretch target imposed on the Council for the year 25/6 was determined as 74 KSIs, a projected reduction from the average figure of 4 KSIs derived from the baseline years of 994 to 998. During the 2-month LPSA monitoring period, the Council successfully reduced the number of KSIs to 7, a reduction of 55%, thereby not only meeting but exceeding the Government s stretch target of 5%. Traffic Calming Schemes The Council has, in recent years, made some additional funding available specifically to install traffic calming measures within residential areas. The criteria used for site selection have included accident record, proximity to schools, vehicle speeds, and proportion of through traffic. Full consultation procedures have been carried out with residents, Emergency Services, Bus Operators, etc., before the details of each scheme have been finalised. Measures which have been installed include road humps, build-outs, narrowings, junction tables and speed cushions. Alternative types of traffic management controls, such as vehicle-activated signs and environmental measures to reduce traffic speeds, are currently being used with a view to expand their use within the Borough. This, allied with greater Police enforcement on selected routes within the local 2

26 Table : High Risk Sites for Accident Investigation (Based on 3-year Accident Record, ) Number of Injury Accidents Location Yr Yr 2 Yr 3 Total 3 Yr Slight Severity Serious Fatal In hours of darkness On wet road surface Involving pedestrians Involving pedal cyclists Status M6/A58/Lodge Lane IV M62/Warrington Road/Linkway/ IV Watkinson Way Linkway/Scorecross/Sherdley Road/ IV Burtonhead Road Kirkland Street/Boundary Road/ IV Lingholme Road A58/Rainford Road III Linkway West/Chalon Way/Canal Street I Linkway West/Westfield Street/ I Kirkland Street/King Street Linkway East/Parr Street/ I Peasley Cross Lane Gaskell Street/Sutton Road/Jackson Street IV A58/Liverpool Road IV Rainford Bypass/Pasture Lane I Prescot Road/Dunriding Lane I Broad Oak Road/Chancery Lane/ I Boardmans Lane Rainford Road/Dentons Green Lane/ III Kiln Lane Rainford Bypass/Mill Lane/St.Helens Road I St.Helens Road/Burrows Lane/ I St.James Road A58/Catchdale Moss Lane IV Rainford Bypass/Bushey Lane/Lodge Lane IV Status Codes I Detailed investigation work pending II Detailed investigation work in progress III Detailed investigation work completed IV Scheme implemented 2

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