In 1996, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) embarked on a 'Safe Town' initiative, to demonstrate that it was possible to substantially reduce urban road accidents and casualties by implementing a coherent range of actions for road safety according to a well-defined strategy. This strategy was intended to bring together all the activities of a local authority as an education authority as well as a highways and planning authority. £5m was provided through the Local Roads Capital Settlement to treat a whole town (City of Gloucester) in a strategic manner, and with safety integrated into other town policies and activities. The report describes how the project was planned, designed, implemented and monitored and what the achievements in accident and casualty reduction were. Urban Safety Management was used to define the appropriate road hierarchy, to manage traffic onto the right roads, to manage the speed of traffic so that it circulates at a more appropriate speed and more safely, and to co-ordinate all work that influences road safety in the pursuit of objectives for the whole urban area. The results were compared with those for 'control' towns with only the normal efforts of local authorities. Injury accidents and casualties showed good reductions, particularly those in the fatal and serious categories. The number of accidents involving cyclists increased. Speeds were substantially reduced in areas with speed management measures, and slight speed reductions were seen elsewhere. Public opinion about the project was largely positive but traffic redistribution was a less popular policy. (A)

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