Spend five minutes improving GM’s plan for safer roads

Last year, Greater Manchester committed to a Vision Zero approach: a strategy to eliminate road death and serious injury by 2040 by taking a more systematic approach to tackling road danger.

A consultation on the draft action plan closes on 27th June and we need you to fill it in. 

Too many people are killed on our roads, and we know that safety fears are a huge barrier to more people walking and cycling. That’s why it’s so crucial that Vision Zero is implemented properly. 

Please respond to the consultation and add your comments. Here are a few tips on the survey…..

  • Don’t be overwhelmed by the length – there are 6 pages of questions but the last 2 are contact details which you can skip if you want to. You can also leave boxes blank if you don’t have anything to add.  
  • You can only answer for one local authority at a time, but you can fill the survey out more than once.
  • Each box is limited to 500 characters, which isn’t many! Be warned that it will let you type more than the limit, and only when you press submit will it tell you that you’ve written too much. 
  • There’s a comment box for each of the strands of the safe system approach, but no box for general comments, or explicitly asking about things that are missing. Be sure to include your key points under the sections available.  

….and here’s a few pointers on things we think are lacking at the moment: 

Safe Speeds

  • Design should compel slower speeds, not just enable it.  Road layout changes will be more effective than increased signage. 
  • The latest evidence from Wales shows the huge impact in having default (not blanket) 20mph for residential roads. We should implement the same in GM. 

Safe Roads

  • We need to reduce traffic volumes and design our communities to be less car dependent. That requires circulation plans, more low traffic areas, fewer rat-runs.  
  • Ensure the Streets for All design guidance is implemented during any road changes. 

Safe Road Users

  • Training for bus drivers on vulnerable road users is totally missing. (promised by Andy Burnham in Dec 23). 
  • Publicise Operation Snap more effectively. 
  • Action needed to prevent pavement parking which forces people to risk walking in the carriageway.

Safe Vehicles

  • Ensure HGVs in Greater Manchester comply with a modern direct vision standard. 
  • There is no mention of reducing numbers of heavy SUVs and pickup trucks, which are particularly dangerous for other road users. Paris, for example, has recently introduced much higher parking fees for SUVs to deter their use in the city. 

Post-Collision Response

  • Focus should be on changing the road layout where incidents occur.  Temporary measures, such as slower speeds, could be implemented following a collision while a more thorough redesign takes place. 

There are two more open questions about tougher sentencing and graduated driver training:

  • You asked for more appropriate sentencing for those guilty of serious road traffic offences. What do you think this should look like?

This is not just about ending lenient sentences for the worst offenders; we also need everyday “minor” offences to be consistently enforced against with penalty charges, points on licenses and driving bans.  Ending road deaths means changing the behaviour of bad drivers BEFORE they eventually kill someone, not afterwards.

  • In our first survey, we received comments about changing the way we learn to drive and introducing stages for new drivers. Graduated driver licensing would mean new drivers move through phases to allow them to gain further driving experience in the months after they pass their test before officially having a full licence. What do you think about graduated driver licensing?

Graduated licensing has been effective at reducing danger elsewhere in the world.  

But it’s not just new drivers.  We need to do better at keeping existing drivers up to date with changes to the highway code and maintaining a high level of care and consideration on the roads.

You can also email thoughts to if you don’t want to complete the survey. 

If you have questions about any of the topics mentioned here, come and join our Discord, a forum to discuss all things walking and cycling in GM.

2 replies on “Spend five minutes improving GM’s plan for safer roads”

I would like to see more management of traffic, including pre 20 mph zones, traffic calming by design and segregated lanes for cyclists on arterial routes.
Mandatory education for new drivers on the hierarchy of road users and for drivers of commercial vehicles and passenger transport.

Agree with almost all the comments. BUT
Sentencing policy is not within the gift of GM and is just a distraction to this project. I don’t think there is any actual evidence that suggests sentencing policy changes driver behaviour or saves KSI anyway.

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