Local Authority Activity
Transport Scotland is responsible for the management and maintenance of the strategic trunk road network, including
motorways, which is delivered through our operating company contracts. The Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 places the statutory responsibility for local roads improvement, maintenance and repair with LAs. The SG is committed to working with all LAs to help improve the condition and safety of the road network. This is carried out through the Road Collaboration Programme, which is jointly funded between national and local government.
In addition, Section 39 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 places a statutory duty on LAs to promote
road safety and take steps to both reduce and prevent accidents. In this respect it is for each
LA to consider appropriate measures which will safeguard road users and residents on their roads, and to determine the priority that should be given to any road safety measures. Therefore, it is not
for Scottish Ministers to intervene in their day-to-day performance of these particular duties.
Outlined below are examples provided by a number of LAs on their road safety activity.
North East Scotland – Aberdeen,
Aberdeenshire and Moray
RSNES do not identify a 'key focus' for each financial year. The primary output
of RSNES is determined by looking ahead every quarter using analysis of historic casualty data to identify anticipated casualty trends in the following three/six months where effort should be applied. These are discussed at our Operational Group meetings where an appropriate response is considered. For example, data shows that the months of May to October are key for motorcycle casualties in North East Scotland and accordingly, RSNES supports the provision of funding by local authorities to Police Scotland with their Rider Refinement North approach. The same principle applies during the winter months, as detailed
later in this response in relation to pedestrians.
With very limited operational resources available to us, RSNES increasingly make use of social media and when appropriate other media releases, to highlight potential road casualty concerns and trends.
RSNES does not have any assets, relying on partners to supply physical, financial and human resources when a need is identified.
Importantly in the context of this response, each RSNES partner has the potential to set their own road safety priorities, e.g. local authorities in their respective road safety plans, or the police through their road policing and
road crime strategy etc.
RSNES supported Road Safety Scotland's 'Drive on the Left' campaign during the summer months by visiting key tourist locations in the North East (Balmoral Castle and Dunnottar Castle) providing the 'Drive on the Left' wristbands
and road safety literature in various languages to non-UK resident drivers. Engagement also occurred at car-hire locations in the local area to ensure
they had suitable resources.
RSNES was a joint applicant for funding along with Robert Gordon University
in late 2019 for funding from Transport Scotland's new Road Safety Evaluation Fund. The bid, which was ultimately successful, will review current and previous motorcycle safety strategies in North East Scotland, with work being undertaken during 2020.
Individual local authorities/partners may have run their own initiatives which RSNES is unaware of. While RSNES tries to capture information on all examples of road safety work from among its partner members, this does not always work.
Given our limited resources, RSNES has only operated one local initiative during 2019/20 which related to anticipated 'spikes' in pedestrian-related casualties
in the winter months. Statistical data revealed that December and January produced noticeably higher levels of pedestrian casualties in both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire during the preceding five years. Working with NESTRANS, our regional transport partnership who assisted with funding and graphic design, radio adverts, bus-back advertising and bus-shelter adverts were produced to highlight the seasonal trend and promote safe road use by both pedestrians and vehicle users. This initiative was initially used in 2018/19 based upon similar casualty-related data.
The Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership (not RSNES) continues to operate the annual 'Safe Drive Stay Alive' event for North East school pupils which attracted around 5,000 attendees in 2019.
We have not identified any aims and priorities yet.
Strategic priorities will be considered in the year ahead as we start to prepare for the next iteration of our local road casualty reduction strategy. It is anticipated that greater use of collaborative working may be one of the issues highlighted, along with elderly drivers albeit there is an acknowledgement that without significant changes to existing processes and legislation, this issue will be challenging to address.
Operational road safety priorities for RSNES will likely continue to be influenced by analysis of historical casualty data, while strategic priorities and direction will probably be dictated by available budget and resource availability. The only issue which stands out among others in terms of casualty statistics is elderly drivers and we are monitoring their ongoing collision/casualty activity.
In our last local North East Scotland Road Casualty Reduction Strategy (2017), we identified a range of actions which at the time of creation were considered realistic, however, in reality primarily due to the resource issue from partners and internal colleagues, unfortunately there has been limited movement in some of them.
Ironically, because casualties have been reducing, it can be argued that some of the impetus for road safety work may not be a strong as it once was. That said, it still remains a statutory responsibility for local authorities and work will continue to be undertaken.
RSNES will likely wait to see what the next Framework looks like before considering their local approach, as it is considered generally helpful if the local approach broadly mirrors that produced by Transport Scotland. Our own local, pan-North East road casualty reduction strategy will be updated at that point, expected to be in early 2021. That said, local authorities and partners will still likely produce refreshed copies of their own, local authority road safety plans which can link to both the North East and national strategies.
There has not been one single area of focus this year but rather, along with
our own initiatives such as National Lorry Week, we have aligned ourselves
with other road safety initiatives.
Drivewise – April 2019 and October 2019 – Pre Driver Initiative
Safe Drive Stay Alive – November 2019 – Pre Driver Initiative
Child Car Seat Checking Clinics – May to September 2019 – In Car Safety
JRSO Initiatives – Academic Year – Child Safety
Older Driver Initiative – Throughout year – Older Driver Initiative
Pass Plus – Throughout year – New Driver Initiative
Taxi Driver – Throughout year – Occupational Road Risk
Ongoing implementation of Route Accident Reduction Plans (looking at upgrading signage, lines and investigating minor improvements) as well as small scale infrastructure improvements such as new crossings, upgrades to road signs and lines, footway and cycleway upgrades and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
This is difficult to note as all the work that we carry out is preventative.
However we feel that all the events/initiatives that we put on, support
the reduction in road casualties on our roads.
Priorities for next framework
Aim to reduce casualties further, with priorities of developing and implementing road safety engineering interventions and working with partners to oversee progress on casualty reduction, developing and planning and initiatives to target further reductions.
We would like to continue with all of the initiatives that we currently run,
however this will be dependent on funding for them all to carry on.