Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats and Green Councillors are pushing for changes to road safety policies to enable them to make their communities safer.
Councillors Klara Sudbury and Eva Ward are jointly bringing a motion to full council on 11 September, calling for a review of existing road safety policies, for the council leader to write to the Secretary of State to request a change to national guidelines and to formalise the fragmented organisation of road safety partnerships across the county.
Commenting on the motion, Cllr Klara Sudbury said:
“All councillors know too well the frustration of working with residents to identify a solution to a road safety problem, only to be told that changes cannot be made because of overly restrictive policies.
“All too often it feels like nothing kicks into gear until a tragedy has befallen the area, when simple, cost-effective solutions could have prevented the worst.
“We are bringing this motion to empower local representatives to make the changes that our local residents are shouting for.”
Cllr Eva Ward, seconder of the motion, also said:
“Overly restrictive traffic policies and national guidance is a blocker to progress, when it should be enabling both councillors and officers to make positive changes for our residents.
“This issue impacts councillors from all parties, so I look forward to working with everyone across the chamber to find a way forward on this issue.”
The motion in full
Proposed by Cllr Klara Sudbury and seconded by Cllr Eva Ward
This council notes that:
- road safety and traffic speeds are of significant concern to many residents in Gloucestershire, in both urban and rural areas.
- elected county councillors have a key role to play, working with local communities, to resolve these concerns, finding effective road safety solutions to help pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.
However, this council further notes that:
- when county councillors request measures to reduce traffic speeds, even when offering to put their highways local funds towards it, policy and financial constraints mean they rarely come to fruition.
- a key obstacle in securing some traffic calming measures is the cost of Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and the lengthy processes needed to secure changes such as yellow lines.
Therefore this council resolves to:
- ask Cabinet to review county council policies relating to traffic calming, including the use of physical design and vehicle activated signage, to aid councillors in securing evidence-based road changes.
- write to the relevant Secretary of State to:
- express our serious concern that national road safety guidelines are too restrictive and ask for the guidance to be reviewed to create a more enabling policy framework.
- clarify what progress has been made to simplify the TRO process.
- consider increasing the road safety budget for 2020-21 through the budget setting process, which could include a ring fenced budget for each council division.
- build on existing local road safety initiatives to establish “road safety partnerships” for each of the six districts where there are none, and to formalise the relationship between road safety partnerships and the highways authority and county councillors.