- Hugh Gillies (HG) Transport Scotland - Chair
- George Henry (GH) Transport Scotland
- Robert Nicol (RN) COSLA
- ACC Mark Williams (MW) Police Scotland
- Derek Crichton (DC) - SOLACE
- DACO Alasdair Perry (AP) Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
- Ch Supt Louise Blakelock (LB) Police Scotland
- Jonathan Moran (JM) Transport Scotland
- Lorraine Forrester (LF) Transport Scotland
- Kieren Green (KG) Transport Scotland
- Ben McKenna (BM) Transport Scotland
- Dr Graham Foster (GF) NHS
- Steven Feeney (SF) Transport Scotland
Welcome and introductions
The Chair introduced himself and welcomed the Strategic Partnership Board (SPB) members and started with round table introductions.
Apologies were received from, Dr Graham Foster and Steven Feeney.
Minutes of previous meeting and action log
The minutes had previously been approved as an accurate record, circulated and published on the Transport Scotland website.
The SPB noted the updates on the outstanding action points. There was 1 outstanding action for Steven Feeney from the last meeting, to explore and if possible develop a process to understand the impact of the Safety Camera Programme on road casualties at camera locations across Scotland.
GH provided an updated on this action in Steven Feeney’s behalf. George advised that it is now business as usual for the Safety Camera Programme. The team have been notified of their budget for the next financial year. George advised that some safety cameras are looking to be upgraded where appropriate, for example a section of the A77 average speed cameras.
LB agreed that it is business as usual after lockdown. The site selections were progressing, with one year site selection finishing and then work immediately starting on the next year. She advised this had been highlighted to SF with a request to review the current annual process.
Written update to be provided on outstanding action 'explore and if possible develop a process to understand the impact of the Safety Camera Programme on road casualties at camera locations across Scotland.'
Owner - SF
Operational Partnership Group (OPG) minutes and actions
GH advised that the minutes to the last OPG meeting, which took place on 10 December 2020, were circulated after the meeting and published on the Transport Scotland website. GH advised that the next OPG meeting will take place tomorrow, on 29 April 2021. This will be the first OPG meeting since the launched of the Road Safety Framework 2030. The group will take the opportunity to analyse the Road Safety Framework 2030 and discuss the casualty reduction targets. Meeting dates going forward for both the SPB and OPG and will look at the governance structure and membership, which will also be discussed later in this meeting.
Framework to 2020 Outcomes
GH thanked stakeholders for their efforts in delivering initiatives to support the push to meeting the Governments casualty reduction targets contained within the Road Safety Framework to 2020. GH advised that we can’t officially confirm if we have met the final targets until later this year, however early indications are positive. GH also mentioned that due to lockdown there has been a reduction of traffic on Scotland’s roads due to the Covid19 lockdowns which will have had a positive impact on casualty reduction in 2020.
The key reported road casualties for year 2020 will be published around June/July, with the reported road casualties released in October. We will then confirm in October if we have met the targets as set out in the Road Safety Framework 2020. GH advised that we will publish the Annual Report for the year 2020 near the latter end of the year when the reported road casualties are release, which will allow us to analyse the targets and what has been delivered in the Road Safety Framework 2020.
GH presented and discussed the risk register, for the Road Safety Framework 2020.
Members were asked if the group should maintain a risk register for the 2030 framework which would take us over the course of the framework.
Chair highlighted that the risk register is an important piece of work and is something that we can’t lose sight of. Road safety is at the core of other projects with Transport Scotland, such as National Transport Strategy and within other teams within Transport Scotland, such as, Active Travel.
RN responded that there is a real need to update the language of risks to reflect updated policies. It is also essential that we include areas such as climate change mitigation stating that we need to focus on this within the new 2030 framework.
The Chair questioned if a risk should be included on Covid-19 recovery and impact around of coming out of lockdown may have on casualty figures.
The group agreed that Covid-19 recovery should be monitored as a risk, by either this group or the OPG.
JM highlighted that a big risk is the delivery of the framework in terms of skills and funding, stating we should look to monitor this and measures to mitigate. And consider any options for jointly procuring this – but it might be something for the longer term.
RN responded that continuing to engage with professional associations, such as SCOTS, would assist in mitigating this risk and establish as to what can be delivered.
DC advised that it may also be beneficial to discuss with COSLA, which could possibly be included on the agenda for COSLA Leaders. Highlighting, we are all responsible for delivery of this framework, and we should look to draw out the implications of delivery that local authorities can face with capacity.
Create new risk register for 2030 framework with updated policy language and circulate to members for comment. (Secretariat)
Road Safe Framework 2030
GH began by giving an overview of the 2030 framework, noting the following points:
- The new framework aims to raise the profile of road safety by linking into other key government outcomes such as active travel, public health and climate change.
- Safe System is embedded within the framework with the long term aim for Scotland to have the best road safety performance in the world.
- 10 Strategic Actions were proposed, but following the public consultation this was increased to 12.
GH stated that all the work within the framework is underpinned by an annual Delivery Plan. This is currently under development and will be circulated around members for approval once finalised.
We need to continue to tackle inappropriate behaviours and speed will be a particular focus over the life time of the framework.
The Chair highlighted that the 2030 framework has had worldwide recognition, with data showing that this reached news in Europe, China and New Zealand. It was great to get the framework recognised around the wold but we now have to work on implementing the framework.
ACC Williams stated that Police Scotland carry out extensive engagement with communities and road safety always rates highly as a key issue for them.
Management Information Data
LB mentioned that with the publication of the new framework it is an exciting time for road safety in challenging times.
LB highlighted that during periods of lockdown there had been significantly less traffic on the roads which had clearly impacted on the number of collisions and casualties.
Police Scotland are continuing to monitor the analytical data to identify any trends in collisions. LB advised there had been an apparent increase in the number of suicides and medical deaths on the roads during the last year and this was being monitored closely.
Chair advised that he currently Chairs a vulnerable persons group, working with key partners on helping vulnerable persons and preventing suicides.
LB continued by highlighting that a working group has recently convened between Police Scotland and Transport Scotland looking to conduct deep dive investigations into road fatalities causations.
The data will be gathered from 2015 onwards with a Police Scotland analyst looking into each.
LB discussed Operation Tutelage, where Automatic Number Plate Recognition is used (ANPR) to detect drivers with no insurance. Letters will be sent if caught by the ANPR with no insurance.
Some drivers do forget to renew their insurance with no criminal intent, and will get valid insurance once they receive the letter.
GH asked if Police Scotland can accept digital footage from the public to report an offence such as poor driver behaviour.
LB responded that this is something Police Scotland may look to introduce further down the line as currently there is no facility for members of the public to submit digital evidence directly as a way to report an offence.
Members of the public currently contact the police via 101 or online contact form to report an incident, this is then allocated to an officer to whom they can then send footage to form part of the investigation.
ACC Williams advised there was a significant amount of work ongoing to improve the collation and sharing of digital evidence throughout the criminal justice system with a project team in place to progress this work.
He advised that learning from this project would influence future developments including consideration of direct submission of footage in the future.
Chair advised that how the development of digital technology has an effect on road safety is something to monitor going forward. For example, how technology will have an effect on enforcement, autonomous vehicles and the bus trial over the fourth road bridge.
Chair to discuss the impact of technology on road safety with GH and what this means for policy. Present back to the SBP and OPG. (Chair and GH)
Governance and Membership
GH advised that the purpose of the Local Partnership Forums (LPF) is to improve communications between national and local levels. Noting that we liaised with stakeholders when proposing LPFs.
We are proposing to introduce 3 LPFs, subject to the governance groups approval. GH continued by presenting a possible outline to members on the local areas. Highlighted the North, East and West split to mirror the police and fire command areas, as well as each Road Safety Partnership Group in Scotland. The split ensured that local authorities that are in the same partnership groups are not split up.
GH explained that the LPFs are not introduced to replace the partnership groups but to ensure that the communication lines are open with the local authorities and to discuss best practice for road safety. The LPF’s are proposed to meet twice per year, but this is open to discussions.
RN advised that we need to have a more in depth discussion regarding the LPFs. We need to understand what the LPF’s will deliver that we aren’t doing/delivering just now. If we have no evidence that this will have an impact then we may receive knock backs, for example, if we split local authorities in certain areas that they don’t necessarily want to be in.
ACC Williams commented that the current proposal of LPFs seem regional, not local. Asking what discussions have taken place with stakeholders and what the reaction was to these. Continuing, MW asked what the approach was for including areas that were not in a partnership group, when creating the LPFs we should look at the balance between local and regional, organisations, community impact, the prioritisation of road safety in each area.
DC echoed the above comments of RN and ACC Williams, agreeing that we need to improve communication with local and national levels. DC advised that the current LPF proposal were more national, not local.
AP stated we need to ensure that all areas have a voice and that we have a policy to support this. The intent of the LPF’s is good, however, there are questions on how we break down the country.
GH thanked everyone for providing their views on the governance structure of the LPFs, highlighting that OPG members have also been asked for their views. We are aware that we may not get this right first time.
Secretariat to collate views from SPB and OPG on LPFs and share updated proposal with members. (Secretariat)
Road Safety Framework Delivery Plan
GH began by noting that the Road Safety Framework 2030 Delivery Plan is in the final stages of development.
The commitments within the Delivery Plan will be discussed in each Annual Report going forward, excluding the 2020 Annual Report which will be an evaluation of the 2020 Road Safety Framework.
GH noted that the Terms of Reference for the SPB will be updated to reflect the new framework. These will then be circulated to members along with the Delivery Plan for sign off.
- Secretariat to circulate finalised Delivery Plan to members for comment.
- Secretariat to circulate the draft Terms of Reference of SPB to members for comment.
Strategic Transport Project Review
National Speed Management Review
Chair advised that the Strategic Transport Project Review (STPR) involves areas such as climate change and active travel and we are trying to ensure that road safety is considered within these wider policies.
GH highlighted that discussion have taken place with internal colleagues on a speed management review and what speed means in a Scottish context.
The review supports a range of policies that assist those government national outcomes and indicators. Related policy drivers include better road safety and health outcomes, promotion of active travel, climate change mitigation, place making and economic growth.
Continuing, GH advised that an example of what will be reviewed in the STPR will be HGV speed limits on single carriageway roads and we will work with stakeholders and other areas on this going forward.
Development and Delivery of Active Freeways
GH noted that £50 million from the Low Carbon Fund was allocated to Active Freeways. These are high quality active travel corridors which provide sustainable transport infrastructure between settlements and major trip attractors.
These are key to enable a modal shift from vehicles to active travel, highlighting the importance of high quality segregated networks, which will improve more sustainability for better walking, cycling and wheeling.
Development National Strategy for 20 mph
GH advised that we have committed to develop a national strategy for 20 mph zones and limits to support a range of policies that assist government outcomes and indicators.
Related policy drivers include better road safety and health outcomes, promotion of active travel, climate change mitigation and place making.
The strategy will seek to identify outcomes to assist in the further delivery of 20 mph zones and limits on roads where it is appropriate to do so. GH highlighted the importance of the perception of safety and discussed the questionnaire that was sent to COSLA, SCOTS and local authorities to identify barriers. We will continue to work with stakeholders to monitor the progress.
Road Traffic Diversionary Courses
LB began by noting that due to Covid-19 RTDC schemes such as the National Driver Alertness Course, aimed at inconsiderate driving, have not been running. No update for going live.
Each case is submitted to COPFS to determine if prosecution or diversionary course is the best option.
Continuing, LB highlighted the project team dealing Speed Awareness Courses sits with Criminal Justice rather than Road Policing. LB advised work was continuing on the development and implementation with no set timescale currently to roll out.
Provide update on development and rollout of Speed Awareness Courses in Scotland. (Police Scotland)
Update on Spaces for People
GH explained that Active Travel are continuing to work with Sustrans and that there are steps to make this permanent going forward, which is currently being evaluated.
GH advised that he sits on the board and will update SPB members as things develop.
Update members on development of Spaces for People scheme. (GH)
Any other business and next meeting
HG advised that it’s good to have the next SPB meeting in July, with work developing and that we will have a new Government in place.
The next SPB meeting is 28 July 2021, 09:30-12:30. The meeting will be held virtually on Microsoft Teams.