Bristol’s Green Councillors are bringing a motion to next week’s (July 11) Full Council meeting, calling on the Council to adopt a ‘vision zero’ approach to casualties from road accidents, setting a target for the city to reach zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
Between 2017 and 2021, 36 people were killed and 636 seriously injured by vehicle collisions on Bristol’s roads – an average of 134 people killed or seriously injured each year. The Council currently supports a One City target of zero killed/seriously injured by 2040 – however the Greens say Bristol does not have a plan to meet this target. (1)
The ‘Vision Zero’ approach originated in Sweden and has been adopted by major cities in the US and Europe – in the UK it has been adopted by councils including London, Blackpool, and Leeds, and is supported by motorists’ associations like the AA and RAC.
The Green motion, proposed by Lockleaze Councillor David Wilcox, calls on the Council to set a Vision Zero target (zero road deaths and serious injuries) by 2030, include this target in “all relevant council decisions and strategies”, incorporate it into strategic plans, work with council partners such as Avon and Somerset Police and major employers to achieve it. It also calls on the council to work with WECA and neighbouring authorities on a region-wide approach.
The Green motion notes some ideas that the council could consider or implement ‘now’ rather than waiting, such as prioritising changes at the ten most dangerous junctions in the city, using average speed cameras at some hotspots and providing more school streets schemes and a ‘road safety forum’ for schools.
David Wilcox said:
“I’m bringing this motion because our city must be made safe for all road users – drivers, bus users, pedestrians & cyclists. People should not face risk of serious injury simply for moving around the city and the majority of injuries from collisions are avoidable – safe road design can prevent others.
“We don’t have to tolerate dozens of people being killed or left with life-changing injuries on our roads every year as a fact of life – there are things we can, and must, do about it. In my view the only acceptable target for deaths and serious injuries on our roads is zero. I hope all parties will support our motion.”
The Council currently supports a One City aim for zero people killed or seriously injured (KSI) by 2040 but there is no specific plan established to achieve this by the Council or its partners. The level of people killed or seriously injured on Bristol’s roads as measured by ‘adjusted KSI’ (which the Dept for Transport advises to use) has been above the council’s internal targets in all of the last 5 years of available data, with 138 people recorded killed or seriously injured in 2021 against a target of 78.
The Green Group leader, Councillor Emma Edwards, said:
“I am proud we are bringing this motion, which aims to prompt more urgent action on reducing road deaths. The council already has a long-term target in mind, but currently there is not a specific initiative or plan to achieve it, and so far developing one has not been a priority.”
“Vision Zero is a proven strategy, which has been shown to work in cities like Oslo and Helsinki. After implementing Vision Zero, Olso achieved its target within two years. This is the level of ambition I believe residents in Bristol deserve to see from their council.”
A Vision Zero approach to road safety management is based on the principle that no death or serious injury is acceptable on roads, and usually emphasises that deaths or serious injuries from road collisions are preventable, and that policymakers have a responsibility for road safety as well as road users. For more information see brake.org.
1) Data is from https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/road-accidents-and-safety-statistical-tables-index – table RAS0403, ‘Final annual casualty and collision data’ at Local Authority level.
|Bristol, City of||Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI – adjusted)||206||161||178||176||168||130||163||142||98||138|
Bristol Council’s annual targets and own performance measurement can be found in road casualty reports – 2020 is here. Bristol Council appears to be using ‘non adjusted’ KSI in their counts which produces a lower number than ‘adjusted KSI’ and may be undercounting the actual figure. The DfT advises to use ‘adjusted KSI’ as the appropriate measure.