Yesterday’s meeting of Birminghan City Council saw the presentation of a scrutiny review into road safety. It is one of the success stories of the city in recent years. The number of road traffic casualties has reduced significantly from over 1,000 in 1990 to 514 in 2007. This is a reduction of nearly 50%, nevertheless nobody is being complacent.
The Council review found that the reduction was due to a three pronged approach – advances in engineering (both on the road and in the car), education campaigns and enforcement.
The report included an appendix of road safety techniques – some of which have been employed in the Edgbaston constituency. These include coloured road surfacing which is now commonly used to highlight traffic calming features and gateway areas; vehicle activated warning signs which target selected drivers (examples of which we now have in all four wards of the constituency with more to follow eg. one will be put in Stoney Lane, Quinton later this year), and 20mph zones.
The report concludes that the key to a successful 20mph zone is to have speed reducing features in place which reduce the speed of vehicles to 20mph or less without the need for enforcement.
This was an interesting review with recommendations which should help ensure the Council’s good work to date is continued.