New partnership launched to reduce road casualties in the West Midlands

Emergency services and local authorities across the West Midlands have joined forces on a new partnership set up to cut the number of people seriously injured on our roads by 40%.

The West Midlands Regional Road Safety Strategic Group has been set up to help deliver on the ambitious target to reduce numbers of incidents which result in death or serious injury by 2030. There were 1,057 such incidents accidents in 2017.

The group brings together experts from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), local councils, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Public Health England, road safety charity organisations and the Young Combined Authority.

It will share data and intelligence on the common causes of fatalities and serious road collisions and offer strategic guidance and recommendations for transport and highway authorities.

In addition, the road safety the group will also be looking into the impacts of Covid-19 and any road safety issues around speeding traffic.

The partnership builds on the memorandum of understanding between the local highway authorities and the WMCA and proposals in the regional road safety strategy which was published in 2019.

Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: "Our transport system is undergoing rapid change, with an increased focus on public transport, walking and cycling and this partnership will make sure that improving road safety is at the heart of our planning and investment going forward.

"Safer roads will be key to transforming the way we travel across the region and this partnership illustrates a collective determination to cut casualties and deaths on our roads."

The group will be chaired by independent charity, the Road Safety Foundation.

Suzy Charman, executive director of the Foundation said “We are delighted to be asked to chair this Group and look forward to working with such motivated and skilled people. We hope that our experience of developing proactive risk reduction approaches in line with the Safe Systems philosophy will help the group to deliver their 40% reduction target.”

The group will set priorities for the region and will monitor success of the delivery of the action plan to deliver the regional road safety strategy paying particular attention to  vulnerable road users and our younger population. 

The West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Waheed Saleem said: "We've made strides over many years to reduce harm and deaths on our roads.

"This new group will help us, as we undergo a overhaul of the way transport operates in the West Midlands, to ensure that our roads are safe and we can encourage people to walk and cycle more as well as reduce casualties and deaths."

The partnership will also consider proposals for pilots in the region for  e-scooters as well as other programmes being rolled out as part of the emergency active travel fund which will see more walking and cycling on our highways as we  encourage more active modes of transport.

It also benefits from having representation from the Young Combined Authority; a board of change-makers to advise and challenge priorities, policies and decision making.

It will meet four times a year, providing strategic direction for road safety activity being delivered by the WMCA, its constituent authorities and all other partners. It will also ensure an evidence-led approach and provide a forum through which stakeholders can work together.