Greater Manchester commits to Vision Zero road safety

Posted: 7 June 2023 | | No comments yet

Dame Sarah Storey announces the city region’s commitment to Vision Zero, aiming to eliminate all road fatalities and serious injuries, with the potential to prevent 3,800 deaths and injuries on Greater Manchester’s roads by 2040.

Greater Manchester commits to Vision Zero road safety

Credit: Transport for Greater Manchester

Dame Sarah Storey, the Active Travel Commissioner of Greater Manchester, has unveiled the city region’s commitment to achieving ‘Vision Zero,’ a comprehensive plan to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries. In 2021, 858 people had been killed or seriously injured in collisions on Greater Manchester’s roads. 

By taking decisive action, it is estimated that around 3,800 unnecessary fatalities and severe injuries could be prevented by 2040. Dame Sarah Storey, along with Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt and other stakeholders, announced the initiation of a programme to develop Greater Manchester’s Vision Zero approach. Agilysis, a road danger reduction specialist, has been commissioned to formulate the strategy, with a draft expected in Autumn 2023.

The strategy will involve engaging with key stakeholders, including the Greater Manchester Police and emergency services, and seeking public input through consultations in 2024. Adoption of the strategy will be subject to agreement with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Dame Sarah Storey said: “Back in November [2022] I launched a refreshed mission for Greater Manchester’s active travel programme and within that I recommended the region adopt Vision Zero. [This] announcement is the first step on making that a reality and I hope the work that now follows will pave the way in making everyone feel safe when they take to the roads, whether that be in a car, on foot or on a bike.”

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The strategy will draw inspiration from successful Vision Zero approaches implemented in other cities globally, such as Stockholm, Oslo, London and Bristol. Effective measures to be considered include implementing 20mph speed limits, improving junction safety, creating segregated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as enhancing enforcement against speeding vehicles. Greater Manchester’s Vision Zero plan will build upon existing efforts by the Road Danger Reduction Advisory Group and Greater Manchester Police to ensure the safety of individuals using the transportation network.

Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt said: “Commitment to Vision Zero in cities and regions across the UK and overseas has resulted in a significant reduction in death and serious injury on the roads. We look forward to the outcome of the work by our road danger reduction experts to see the potential for similarly positive outcomes in Greater Manchester, building on the work already undertaken by districts, TfGM, the police and other partners.”  

Greater Manchester has already made strides in enhancing road safety, including the development of an extensive active travel network under the Bee Network. The region has also conducted trials for schemes promoting active travel in safer environments, such as School Streets pilots and the implementation of 20mph zones.

In 2021, Greater Manchester recorded 28 pedestrian fatalities, 217 severe pedestrian injuries, five cyclist fatalities, 129 serious cyclist injuries, 10 motorcyclist deaths and 106 severe motorcycle injuries. Collisions caused by drivers failing to observe proper precautions, including failure to look adequately, had been identified as major contributing factors in accidents involving cyclists and motorcyclists. Turning-related manoeuvres, particularly turning right, driving ahead at a right-hand bend and turning left, had been among the primary causes of injury to cyclists in Greater Manchester.