- Hugh Gillies (HG) Transport Scotland (Chair)
- George Henry (GH) Transport Scotland
- ACC Mark Williams (MW) Police Scotland
- DACO Alasdair Perry (AP) Scottish Fire and Rescue
- Dr Graeme Foster (GF) NHS
- CS Louise Blakelock (LB) Police Scotland
- John Pollock (JP) CoSLA
- Paul Sloan (PS) Transport Scotland
- Jonathan Moran (JM) Transport Scotland
- Hannah Wood (HW) Transport Scotland
- Ben McKenna (BM) Transport Scotland
- Derek Crichton (DC) SOLACE
- Robert Nicol (RN) CoSLA
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair introduced himself and welcomed the Strategic Partnership Board (SPB) members and started with round table introductions.
Apologies were received for Derek Crichton and Robert Nicol.
During the introductions, the SPB took the opportunity to understand the context of road safety in the immediacy of coming out of lockdown, to identify and understand where we are as well as the direction we go in and with what resources.
The Chair updated members that following discussions with the Minister for Transport, an agreement has been reached to set up a working group for partners to look at motorcycle fatalities and what more can be done to prevent them.
MW expressed that it has been a challenging few months due to the pandemic, however, the ‘Stay at Home’ message meant that the roads were quieter with less vulnerable road users. The popularity of staycations and lockdown relaxing has put an increase on the vulnerability of road users.
MW also updated that Police Scotland launched their speeding campaign as planned on 26 July and the Summer Drinks and Drug Driving campaign had concluded.
LB added that Police Scotland has run many focused campaigns over the course of the year, using social media messaging effectively due to the restrictions on road checks etc. Some of these focused on speeding and vulnerable road users. Police Scotland’s motorcycle campaign is reviewed every year however, the causations of collisions involving motorcyclists remain constant. LB noted interest of being part of the Motorcycle working group.
The Chair highlighted that the focus of the Framework to 2030 is casualty reduction and that action had to be taken to ensure that we do not revert back to pre-Covid levels.
AP agreed with MW points and added that the number of water fatalities since Covid restrictions have eased have also increased and considered whether or not there has been a shift in people’s risk perception due to the lockdown. AP also noted that the pandemic, and associated restrictions, had impacted community safety engagement regarding safety due to the pandemic.
JP noted that there had been consideration made for messaging encouraging people to actively travel as restrictions ease and added that driver behaviour also has an impact on whether people will cycle or walk, due to how safe people feel doing so.
GF emphasised the difficulty of coming out of lockdown, adding that a lot of people have not been out driving throughout the pandemic, therefore, their skills have likely been impaired. People are making the most of the easing of lockdown as there has been an increase in road users. GF also highlighted that due to restrictions still in place, many people are opting for a staycation that would not normally travel within the UK, which has seen an increase in people using campervans and towing which has an increased risk, due to the driver being inexperienced. GF highlighted that staycations are good for the environment compared to international flights and this also betters the economy and tourist industry. GH also noted the increase in the purchase of bikes and the increase of cyclists on the road.
LB highlighted the roadside drug testing is in use across Scotland with a variety of road users being detected over the prescribed limit.
The Chair also informed members that there has been a briefing arranged for with the Minister for Transport to discuss road safety and the Framework to 2030.
Action Point 1
Include discussion as an agenda item at next SPB meeting.
Minutes of previous meeting and action log
The Chair confirmed that minutes had previously been approved as an accurate record, circulated and published on the Transport Scotland website.
GH noted that there was one outstanding action for Steven Feeney from the previous SPB 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 advised that this has been postponed and will be picked up at a later date in the form of a written report.
Action Point 2
Written report to be provided for the next SPB 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.’
Owner: Steven Feeney
Operational Partnership Group (OPG) minutes and actions
Members confirmed that they have had sight of the OPG minutes. No further comments were added.
Road Safety Framework – Governance
Governance & Terms of Reference
Members confirmed that they have received the new Terms of Reference. HG highlighted that the Terms of Reference will be reviewed periodically and that members will be given the opportunity to highlight any concerns or amendments that they would suggest.
Action Point 3
Review and return a signed copy of the Terms of Reference to the secretariat prior to next meeting.
Owner: SPB Members
Local Partnership Forums
GH began by noting that work is well underway with regards to creating the Local Partnership Forums (LPF’s) and that initial contact has been made with potential members. This has been met with great enthusiasm, which has been encouraging. GH advised that some of the feedback has included suggestions for themed focus groups such as local authorities which are cities gathering to discuss city issues. This will be considered as the LPF’s progress.
GH reiterated, as per the previous meeting, that the LPF’s are in place to support the Road Safety Partnership Groups that are already in place within local authority areas and not supersede them. He highlighted examples of the proactive groups that are in place and the great work that they do.
GH advised that The Road Safety Policy Team has established 3 LPFs in line with the current Police & Fire command structure of North, East and West. GH noted that the forums need to be manageable and achievable in order to monitor success and the size of the forums will take into consideration the capacity of the policy team at TS. However, we are happy to take on other stakeholders views and opinions.
JP noted that he welcomes the option to look at the areas for LPF’s at a later date and that concerns have been raised to CoSLA by local authorities regarding the size of the forums or area type. JP agreed that the best option would be to give the current structure a chance and to review at a later date.
AP offered full support of the groups and noted that it is a great step forward.
GH advised that the Risk Register was included with the papers that had been distributed prior to the meeting, taking into consideration that stakeholders may not have had a chance to review it.
GH highlighted that the Risk Register takes into account what was discussed at the last meeting, monitoring what the major risks are to the framework going forward. The risks may vary as we are ten years away from our target base, however, we want to make as much process at an early opportunity. GH asked stakeholders if they had looked at the Risk Register and if there were any comments or if members would like to add anything.
JM highlighted that the key challenge would be the delivery. What we need to deliver in the framework should be detailed in the Risk Register. At some stage all partners need to have a review on what has to be delivered on the ground, such as the constraints on the local authorities on procurement and lack of resources, and this should be reflected in the Risk Register. JM appreciates that it is early days, however, would like to keep this in mind for consideration.
The Chair thanked JM for his comments and asked if members had anything further to add. No comments were received and the Chair advised that the Risk Register will continue to be reviewed going forward.
Knowledge & Data Analysis
Accident Data – Key Themes
PS presented stakeholders with information regarding the impact of the pandemic on road safety in Scotland. PS explained that the trend in trip rate by mode follows the lockdown restrictions. Car use reduced over lockdown and increased over summer. Walking increased as it was the only mode of transport available to people over lockdown. Public Transport was also affected. PS further explained the trend in road use vs pre-pandemic, showing that car use reverted fairly quickly when restrictions eased whereas public transport was taking longer.
PS detailed the impact on road safety from the most recent key reported road casualties published, total casualties have dropped by 35% and fatalities have dropped from 165 to 142. Casualties across all modes are down however cycling casualties have increased by 2%, which would be anticipated given the increase of people cycling, due to lockdown, that hadn’t previously cycled before. PS proposed that given the impact of the pandemic that it may not be unexpected for 2021 data to show an increase to something close to pre-pandemic levels.
PS noted that all of the 2020 Casualty Reduction targets have been provisionally achieved which is good news, however, noted that this was to be expected due to the impact of the pandemic.
PS provided members with an overview on current progress towards meeting the targets for the new framework over the next 10 years and opened the floor to questions. No questions were asked.
The Chair thanked PS and highlighted that this demonstrates the extended conversation of understanding the trends, noting that we need to be very careful as we review the evidence that we have.
GH echoed the Chairs point and suggested that the delivery of the new framework is a fresh start for everyone and we need to work to embed the Safe System at all levels to maintain casualty reduction over the next 10 year period.
Management Information Data
LB began by noting that it is important that efforts are made to prevent fatalities and serious injuries returning to pre-lockdown figures.
LB added that Police Scotland are continuing to monitor the analytical data to identify trends in activity.
National Speed Indicator
GH advised that Transport Scotland has been working in partnership with local authorities across Scotland to establish a National Speed Indicator and as of March 2021, 100 permanent speed survey counters have been installed and configured to start collecting speed data across both local and trunk road networks.
The purpose of the Speed Indicator is to understand how people are behaving on the roads and the counters have been installed on a variety of road types in free flow conditions.
The data will identify particular patterns and issues by road type and type of vehicle, thereby focusing partnership efforts in the right places on the road network leading to a more proactive/preventative approach to speed.
GH advised that the baseline data will be gathered and passed on to SPB members for their approval. The data being received is in raw format and the analytical team have created a user friendly format for review.
The go live date was noted as the 1st July 2021 and the data will be collated on a monthly basis going forward.
The Chair highlighted that this will be a very important metric going forward.
GF emphasised his support for this and that information based on evidence is very important, highlighting that it is important that the discussion does not just become centred around speed being the overall problem.
Scotland’s Road Safety Week & National Conversation
GH highlighted that the National Conversation is something that he wanted to raise as it had been discussed within the last framework. It is very important for partners working to deliver the framework vision and targets to ensure casualty reduction is raised higher up the agenda and to, this end we are keen to see a National Conversation on road safety.
As part of this National Conversation, it is our intention to establish a Scottish Road Safety Week. Transport Scotland colleagues have met to discuss this, with a view to inviting partners from relevant organisations to join a Steering Group. GH advised that it is intended that the first meeting will be in August.
GH explained that Transport Scotland believe it would be good to ‘own’ this week as a specific Scottish event and therefore avoiding a clash with other road safety weeks. Considering the exit from lockdown and the upcoming CoP 26, March 2022 appears to be the most suitable month to arrange this. It is anticipated the Road Safety Scotland Annual Seminar would be held as a centrepiece that week.
The Chair highlighted the importance of road safety and that the SPB and Road Safety Framework must show leadership. Noting support for the Road Safety week, expressed that with all partners playing their part, this shows leadership.
AP agreed with the Chairs views, offering support for the road safety week.
JP also offered support and noted that we need to do more to focus attention on road safety and drive forward the active travel agenda.
LB advised that Police Scotland echoed these views and that this ties in well with Police Scotland’s campaign calendar.
JM advised that the team will map out all stakeholder campaigns around this time.
Education & Publicity – Campaigns, Education & Safe System Animations
GH explained that Education and Publicity is important to have on the agenda going forward, highlighting that road safety is a lifelong skill and the importance of the early years in developing skills, attitudes and behaviours.
Road Safety Scotland (RSS) has continued to maintain a full suite of learning resources and, each year, sends an updated copy of the ‘Road Safety within Curriculum for Excellence’ guide to every relevant educational establishment in Scotland. However, GH highlighted that the biggest issue is how they are being delivered. We are aware that there are difficulties with the uptake of the resources and due to the pandemic, teachers will be concentrating on the fundamentals of education.
GH noted that the RSS team has been tasked with researching how road safety education is being delivered, how can we increase it and how can we make it better.
GH explained that campaign activity channelled through RSS, working closely with colleagues in the SG Marketing and Insight Team is a two-fold approach with some strategic campaigns designed created to address the key casualty causation factors, while other tactical campaigns allow us to focus on those which remain important but are lower in incidence.
GH added that Young Drivers remain one of the major campaigns, and an ‘always on’ approach has been adopted. The current creative route “Drive like Gran’s in the Car” addresses behaviours such as: general speeding and urban speeding; distraction; country roads; drink; and drugs.
GH also mentioned that Motorcyclists campaigns are always live during the biking season with activity channelled through the “Live Fast Die Old” platform, which includes the ‘Breathtaking Roads’ series of videos which focus on those causation factors which cause most harm.
GH advised that vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclist will be a focus of campaigns going forward.
JP queried, with regards to education, if there is a way of tying this in with free bike projects and the training that will be offered with this.
Action Point 4
Discuss education campaigns with active travel in relation to the free bike project.
Owner: George Henry
Action Point 5
Members to provide proposals offering support for road safety education for consideration at the next SPB
Owner: SPB members
Road Safety Framework – Delivery
GH provided members with an update on framework funding informing members that many road safety framework funded initiatives and evaluations were suspended due to the pandemic and the restrictions that were put in place. These have now started to progress and we remain in contact with each of the initiatives and will keep members updated on progress.
GH noted that the current call for funding opened for applications on the 25th February and closed on the 6th June. 7 applications were received and 6 had been sent to the OPG for consideration. Once approved by the OPG, these will then be sent to SPB members.
Action Point 6
Secretariat to circulate funding applications when available.
GH noted that as outlined in the Road Safety Framework we are considering the formation of a national Road Safety Improvement Fund. A strategic business case is being developed to provide a detailed long term financial forecast to assist road authorities and stakeholders meet the challenging 2030 road casualty reduction targets.
GH thanked members for their contribution to the delivery plan explaining that it has taken a while to develop as it is the first of the new framework. There is a draft of the delivery plan included in the papers which will be cleared by the Chair and then the minister.
The delivery plan sets the scene of who the delivery partners are, our vision, the Safe System, the governance and the strategic actions in which the deliverables align to.
GH asked members if they had any views or comments on the current draft.
AP endorsed the document, asking if there was anything GH wanted to bring to their attention.
GH noted that there was nothing to specifically draw to attention but the way in which the delivery plan is managed going forward. TS Road Safety Policy Team are to coordinate, however, there are a large number of actions that are to be implemented. It shows the breadth of road safety delivery that is being taken forward.
JM commented that as this will be the delivery plan for the next 10 years it has to be as simple and clear as possible. The structure needs to be right so that the figures can be updated easily. TS will collate stats and report, however, everyone has to use this document for the next decade to deliver the framework therefore it has been written as a multi-partner paper.
LB congratulated TS for putting together the delivery plan and was delighted to see the draft included in the papers.
AP echoed LB and commented that it was a fantastic piece of work.
GH explained the next steps are to have the delivery plan signed off by the Chair followed by the minister prior to confirming a publication date.
Action Point 7
Secretariat to update SPB members on publication date for the delivery plan.
National Speed Management Review
GH expressed commitment to the National Speed Management review to support a range of policies that will assist national outcomes and indicators, for example Road Safety and better health outcomes through the promotion of active travel.
WSP was recently appointed as a consultant to undertake the work on TS behalf. They will provide updates to SPB and OPG as we reach appropriate milestones. The review seeks to establish if we have suitable speed limits across the urban and rural road network.
Once the review has been completed we will consider how the outcomes, including any revised national speed limit guidance, should be implemented. This work will include areas relating to the policy drivers as well as a review of the national speed limit for HGVs, and an analysis of the impact of speed, operational performance, potential environmental benefits and the promotion of active travel.
A speed management plan will need to be delivered that will consider measures that will influence positive driver behaviour.
Depending on what the outcomes are, we will need to consider what speed limits need to be changed, educational impacts, framework and what resources are required.
Development of a National Strategy for 20 mph
GH noted that TS had been asked to work with appropriate groups to understand how we can implement 20 mph speed limit. We will continue to engage with organisations to develop a national strategy for further 20 mph.
We are currently in the discovery stage of the strategy, we will work with key stakeholders to identify and develop the most suitable way forward which will allow local authorities to implement 20 mph in the most appropriate environment. Lessons learned from the Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Scotland) Bill has clarified that the implementation of 20 mph limits across Scotland is complex and that the identification of the road network is only one crucial link in many parts that we have to get right before we can move to implementation.
The development will look for working groups, support for local authorities and implementation of road safety campaigns.
The Chair highlighted that momentum on this could get even stronger and that we need to be aware of that happening.
JP noted that he was involved with the previous bill and highlighted concerns surrounding funding. JP also noted that this may require a political steer and due to the local elections in May 2022, the board could change therefore it is unlikely that anything would happen prior to this.
GF added that there is a degree of public health evidence to use 20 mph zone, if they work but there is concern that a lot of people do not comply with them. Traffic calming measures can be looked at and mechanisms to help drivers follow the rules as we need to have 20 mph areas that actually slow down traffic. GF suggested that the policy should be reviewed to ensure that it is working.
JM noted that there are challenges that need to be addressed and that enforcement should be the last element of this as it is not sustainable.
GH noted all the points raised and will raise these at the first meeting of the working groups.
Action Point 8
Prepare lines for all partners to take on behalf of the SPB the relation to the development of a National Strategy for 20 mph.
Owner: SPB Members
Road Traffic Diversionary Courses
LB updated the group on Speed Awareness Courses, the IT system required for implementation is being trialled at the moment.
The last steering group took place on 24 March which focused on design for the end to end process for speed awareness and looking elsewhere for best practice. The group found that Greater Manchester Police would be a good model and that the force size was also comparable to Police Scotland. Work is still ongoing.
LB highlighted the Driver and Rider courses have not been running due to lockdown. Police Scotland have reviewed their processes and are concentrating on improving the number of referrals for the diversionary schemes for consideration as a disposal by COPFS.
Public Health and Road Safety
Spaces for People
GH explained that Active Travel are continuing to work with Sustrans and that progress has been made. Speed reduction measures have been implemented in 79 locations, footway widening in 106 locations, cycle lanes in 27 locations, crossing upgrades in 6 and other interventions in 46 locations.
Almost all local authority reporting is in and all project mapping on Geographic Information System to be completed in the coming weeks.
JP mentioned that the process has brought local authorities that have underrepresented to the forefront, those of which are working closely with TS. Continuing, JP advised that elected members will be shown the cost benefit and the actions that are taken, noting that members of the active travel team at TS were meeting with
JM asked if there will be a specific report for Spaces for People which will look at the benefits to road safety.
GH advised that there is not a specific report however road safety will have a section in the overall report. GH noted that the Scottish Borders have a consultant completing an independent evaluation.
JP added that it is a discussion point at the Active Travel meeting which is hosted by TS with members made up of officers from CoSLA, Scots and Sustrans. GH requested to be involved in the meetings going forward.
JP advised that stats on slips, trips and falls are provided and shared with local authorities to help with their decision on where to spend their money in winter.
GF highlighted that there are similar conversations going on at the Public Health Group, noting we want to reduce casualties and not just to protect the NHS. GF stated that we need cyclists to wear helmets to help reduce the severity of collisions.
GH advised that he wants to explore data of the safety of helmet wearing. However, GH highlighted that it may defer people cycling if they need to wear helmets.
AOB and Next Meeting
JM highlighted that we need to ensure that people understand what the Safe System is, how the Safe System affects them and the Delivery Plan. GH and JM have been working on a process for TS colleagues to understand the Safe System and Delivery Plan. JM proposed that members share knowledge and information with each other to assist with this process.
The next SPB meeting is planned for Wednesday 26 January 2022, 09:30-12:30. Members will be updated on if this will be virtually or in person.