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6 December, 2021

New strategy launched to make roads safer across North Yorkshire and York

An ambitious vision to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on North Yorkshire and York’s roads to as close to zero as possible is being launched.

A new Safer Roads Strategy from the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership will bring together key organisations from across the city and the county and focus on four areas – safer road users, safer vehicles, safer roads and learning lessons post-crashes.

The aim is to identify those most at risk and ensure everyone works together to do everything possible to keep them as safe as possible.

It will include ongoing engagement and specific projects, such as the recently launched Christmas Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

North Yorkshire and York has around 6,000 miles of busy rural and urban roads and road safety efforts have already reduced the number of those killed or seriously injured by 26 per cent in the five years to 2019, in stark contrast to an upwards national trend.

York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership – Road Safety Strategy 2021 – 2026 V2023

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Interim Chief Fire Officer Jonathan Foster is the Chair of the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership.

He says the strategy will focus on the four Es – education, engagement, engineering and enforcement:

“It is good news that over recent years we have seen a reduction in the number of those who are killed or seriously injured on our roads, but we know that beyond statistics, every collision can have a devastating impact.

“It is for this reason that we are committed to working towards Vision Zero, with the aim of continuously reducing the risk of death or serious harm and to enhancing the safety of all in York and North Yorkshire.

“We look forward to working together in partnership with communities and organisations across North Yorkshire and York to deliver safer roads for us all.”

The York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership includes North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, National Highways, and the Office of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe is welcoming the new Strategy:

“Roads are essential to our everyday lives and it is vital they are as safe as they can be for everyone who uses them. We can only do this by working together which is why our partnership approach is the right one to share resources and expertise.

“We will ensure the views of communities are heard throughout the process. Those who live and work alongside our roads and use them everyday know the challenges, by listening to them, and working to put in place solutions, we can begin our journey to Vision Zero.”

Mark Pannone, Assistant Chief Constable for Specialist Operations at North Yorkshire Police, said:

“As Police Officers we see too much devastation on our roads, and too many lives shattered as a result.

“Our message for this year’s Drink and Drug Drive campaign is ‘we want you to live’, and this is true for every single day of the year – it’s why we do what we do.

“The drink and drug drive campaign is one of our Fatal 5 strands of the York and North Yorkshire Safer Roads Strategy. The strategy is very much welcomed as it sets out our total commitment to make sure our roads are as safe as they possibly can be for all drivers, riders, passengers and pedestrians.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways and the County Council’s Road Safety Champion, said:

“At North Yorkshire County Council, we welcome the latest partnership strategy. We have a strong commitment to road safety and casualty reduction. The new strategy, together with the most recent action plan, will enable all partners to deliver a cohesive, efficient service across the county.

“We know from analysis that most collisions involving personal injury are caused by driver or rider errors. The new strategy sets out clearly how we will work together to raise awareness of these issues and how we aim to reduce them.”

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, Executive Member for Transport at City of York Council, said: 

“We are committed to working together continuing to sharing resources and expertise to provide a co-ordinated, evidenced-led approach to prevent deaths and injuries on our roads.

“Improving road safety and the confidence of road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and e-bike and e-scooter riders can also have significant benefits for active travel, improving wider physical and mental wellbeing. The provision of a safe environment for active travel modes for trips to school and work is even more important as we reduce the climate change impact of travel by creating a safer and more attractive environment that encourages more people to walk, cycle and use the bus. This in turn will reduce congestion, enhance air quality and improve the health and wellbeing of residents.”

Simon Boyle, Regional Director for National Highways, said: 

“At National Highways, safety is our first imperative. Every death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy which is why we are committed to reducing the number of road users killed or seriously injured on the strategic road network.

“The strategic road network is a vital national asset, supporting economic growth, regional development and employment opportunities across England and the rest of the UK. It connects families, communities and businesses, enriching the lives of many citizens. Billions of miles are travelled on our roads each year. The vast majority of these are safe and reliable journeys. We have high levels of safety on our network; but more can be achieved. We look forward to working with our partners on the new strategy for York and North Yorkshire.”

Click here to read the full strategy >>

You can find out more about the Partnership and road safety across North Yorkshire & York at www.roadwise.co.uk.