Birmingham City Council has established a cross-disciplinary team of officers in order to deliver the Inner City Road Safety Demonstration Project. This team includes one Road Safety Officer, two travel Plan Officers, twelve Engineers and external partners from the University of West England (Bristol) and the local community.
To deliberately take the initiative of implementing measures going beyond the regulatory requirements in force, namely the Inner City Road safety Demonstration Project, a £6million, five-year initiative designed to take a new and integrated approach towards Road Safety. The project will bring together issues of Regeneration, Community involvement, Social Inclusion, awareness, education and physical measures in an Inner City Ward with high levels of deprivation. Dedicated staff will be employed to co-ordinate a cross-disciplinary approach, ensuring that all the issues contributing to the high levels of injury sustained in areas with high levels of deprivation are taken into account in developing good practice and methodologies to reduce accidents .
The outputs from this demonstration project will include identification of opportunities for other Local Authorities and communities. A “Good Practice Guide” will be produced, providing guidance on means of delivery, road safety improvements in the context particularly of Social Inclusion, local centres and Community needs and aspirations. Although specific project-related outputs do not include accident reduction targets, the City Council is committed to meeting or exceeding the Government target of reducing the incidence of accidents involving death or serious injury by 40% by the year 2010 when compared to average figures over the years 1994-8.
The project will be independently monitored on behalf of the Department for Transport and the City Council will work closely with the monitoring body throughout the duration of the project.
The Inner City Road Safety Demonstration project will proceed alongside a range of other educational, awareness and local improvement plans and will be integrated with these. For example, the following linked project targets have been set:
Safer routes to School: The City Council has set as an objective the target of developing ten new schemes in the year 2004/5, which will be integrated with School Travel Plans Schools bidding for “Safer Routes” projects will all need to develop Travel Plans in conjunction with City Council Officers. Similar targets for producing Safer Routes projects will be set if future years.
Cycle Training: 2000 children will be trained to cycle more safely in the Urban environment in the year 2004 and, again, similar targets will be set in future years.
“Kerbcraft”: The new Kerbcraft initiative has already commenced in one Inner City Ward in the year 2003 and is currently “rolling out” to a second Ward. New appointments have been made to provide co-ordinating officers for each of these schemes and the target is to deliver pedestrian training to children in the age group 5-7 attending schools in these Wards in the next three years. In this period it is intended that Kerbcraft training will reach 1000 children in 20 Schools.
Kerbcraft is being delivered by means of a specific Government funding grant and is being monitored by Government Consultants working in close co-operation with the Kerbcraft officers, the schools and the volunteer Kerbcraft trainers.
“Walking Buses”: The city council has initiated 15 Walking bus schemes in the period up to the end of 2003 and it is intended that a further 2 per annum will be operational in future years.
“Walk to School”: Out of 314 Local Authority controlled Primary Schools in Birmingham, 94 took part in the annual Walk to School initiative in 2003. A target has been set to secure the involvement of 100 schools in 2004, with a regular 10% per annum increase as a future objective.