West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2016-10-31
End date: 2016-12-11
Results: 2017-03-09

Budget Proposal 2017/18: Road Safety

Reducing the amount of Road Safety Officers we employ

Background

This is one of seven budget proposals for 2017/18. You can view the full list online.

As the lead organisation for local road safety activity, we've made a significant contribution to the substantial reductions in the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. We've worked hard over the last few years to continue to provide road safety services while coping with major reductions to our budget. However, with further budget restrictions over the next few years, we must seek to get the most out of every pound spent on our services, and will be making very difficult decisions on where to reduce spending. Road safety cannot be immune to these financial realities, but there are many reasons to protect road safety spending, as much as possible. It is an ethically, socially and economically sound policy area that delivers real cost savings, and improves peoples' lives.


Legislation requirements

While central government sets the regulatory framework for roads, vehicles and road users, and national road safety strategies, road safety delivery occurs primarily at the local level with local government being the lead delivery agent, working in partnership with many other agencies and stakeholders.

Local authorities have various statutory duties related to road safety:

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 39) requires local authorities in Great Britain to:

  • take steps both to reduce and prevent accidents
  • prepare and carry out a programme of measures designed to promote road safety
  • carry out studies into accidents arising out of the use of vehicles on roads or part of roads, other than trunk roads, within their area
  • take such measures as appear to the authority to be appropriate to prevent such accidents

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (Section 122) requires local authorities in Great Britain to:

  • secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic (including pedestrians)

The Traffic Management Act 2004 (Section 16) requires local authorities in England and Wales to manage and maintain their road networks to:

  • secure the expeditious movement of traffic on, and the efficient use of, their road networks
  • avoid, eliminate or reduce road congestion or other disruption to the movement of traffic on their road network or a road network for which another authority is the traffic authority

 


What are we proposing?

To delete one of the two full-time Road Safety Officer posts in our Traffic Management and Road Safety Team. This will result in a saving of approximately £35,000 per annum out of a total budget of £124,000.

We'll still be fulfilling our statutory duty regarding 'Promotion of road safety' as required by the legislation mentioned above.


What do we think the impact will be?

This cut means that a number of road safety activities will reduce or stop.  This may include:

  • visits to schools
  • support to National Campaigns
  • Drive Start (young drivers)
  • Flourish (older drivers)
  • Ride Start (young motorcyclists)
  • Exchanging Places (dangers of HGV's to cyclists)
  • Walking Bus support and training
  • Safer Steps
  • Safe Drive, Stay Alive (theatre production). 

We would also lose some capacity to respond to any concerns raised by members of the public regarding non-engineering road safety issues.

Please refer to the pdf icon Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for more detail. [55kb]


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

We have considered stopping all road safety activities but ruled this out on the grounds that we must continue to provide the statutory minimum requirement.


Why we would like your views

We would like to hear from you as to how this proposal could potentially impact on you and on the wider community. In particular, we would be interested in any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change.

All feedback will be considered, and a final decision made by Full Council at the meeting on 2 March 2017. Following this, the results and your anonymised response will be published on this page.

Please note: Twitter and Facebook posts will not be considered as a valid response.

This consultation is now closed.

 

What you told us

We received 27 responses to this consultation. Full details of the responses, considerations and recommendations can be seen below:

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal will be made to the Executive Members on 16 February 2017. This can also be found in the Overview of Responses and Recommendations below.

Who To Contact