Wakefield Council is set to adopt an internationally recognised approach to improving road safety in the Wakefield district.
The new strategy, Vision Zero, aims to reduce road deaths and accidents to zero by 2050 and will mark a new direction in how road danger is reduced.
The focus of the new strategy will be on putting the needs of people and communities above those of vehicles across the district – a move away from the traditional approach of focusing efforts on roads where road deaths and accidents are more likely to take place.
Instead, there will be a number of initiatives across the board to make streets safer. They include better pedestrian and cycling routes and facilities, speed limit reductions, and promoting safer walking, cycling and links to public transport, along with measures being put in place at known casualty sites to reduce the number of people being killed or seriously injured.
On average, there are 10 vehicle related deaths a year in the Wakefield district. The number of people hurt or seriously injured is on the increase.
To prevent future road traffic fatalities and injuries the Council wants to introduce Vision Zero and the five principles that underpin it, to create streets that are safe for walking and cycling.
The five key areas that make up Vision Zero are: safer speeds, safer vehicles, safer roads, safer behaviours and improved learning from collision investigations.
Cllr Matthew Morley, Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways at Wakefield Council, said: “Road safety is a priority for us and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority who have made this vision a key priority in their latest local transport plan for the region which we are signed up to.”
“Any death and serious injury from a road accident is unacceptable and we are committed to taking action. All of us share a responsibility to reduce the dangers which vehicles pose to our safety, and we will be reaching out to communities and businesses to ask they work with us to implement this vision. We can achieve so much more if we work together.”
Vision Zero originally started in the 1990s in Sweden and has been successful across Europe.
The decision whether to adopt this strategy will be made at the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 17 January at 10.30am. The meeting can be watched live or later on the Council’s website.