Reading is one of the five towns involved in the Urban Safety Project led by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory to demonstrate the effects of combining on an area-wide basis a range of low-cost engineering measures to reduce accidents. The strategy of the project was: to help traffic use main roads more safely; to discourage use of residential roads for through travel; to create safer conditions for road users requiring access to residential areas. An area-wide package of modifications designed to achieve this was introduced in 1984, following consultation with local residents. Measures included closures of some roads into residential areas and bans on high risk right-turns, taken in conjunction with improvement of turning facilities at nearby junctions, generally by the introduction of mini-roundabouts, to offer safer traffic routes. The effect was to redistribute traffic on to an improved hierarchy of roads, whilst preserving access. Following an initial period of implementation and improvement, there was a reduction in injury accidents estimated at between 4 and 15 percent compared with the numbers expected had the scheme not been implemented. Users of two-wheeled vehicles in particular benefitted. The traffic redistribution was achieved without increasing journey times over the area as a whole. (A)

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