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Road Safety Engineering

Cheshire West and Chester Council regularly checks its database of road traffic collisions to search for trends and problem areas. They are identified by an annual collision investigation process.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 39) specifies that local highway authorities must provide a Road Safety Service. This should include education, training and publicity programmes, engineering schemes and road safety audits. It is the Council’s duty to try to prevent as well as cure road traffic collisions.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Road Safety Plan

This plan brings together the road safety activities of Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council for the year 2015/2016 to ensure a co-ordinated and effective delivery of road safety improvements.

The Road Safety Team aims to:

  • minimise road crashes and casualties.
  • improve access to the highway for all, especially vulnerable road users.
  • address road safety issues that affect quality of life in our communities.

We will achieve these aims through a combination of engineering, education, encouragement, training and publicity, working in partnership with others where we can. In this way we will contribute to wider service and corporate objectives that are consistent with these aims.

Collision investigation and analysis

Collision and casualty analysis is a complex procedure. Ideally, the direction that a comprehensive collision analysis takes will be led by collision data.

The Department for Transport provides values for the prevention of road traffic collisions and casualties. The estimates from this guidance are used to assess the cost benefits of a road safety scheme. The estimate is the average cost of an injury collision that allows for pain, grief and suffering, lost economic output, medical and healthcare costs, material damage, police costs, insurance administration and legal and court costs.
Road Safety Engineers regularly assess the collision problems on the network.  Collision patterns over a period of time are studied according to a location, circumstance and the vehicles and casualties involved, so that cost-effective solutions can be devised, giving priority to areas of highest collision frequencies.

Local safety engineering schemes

Local engineering schemes are designed to address recorded collisions where someone was injured. To qualify as a scheme, it must be shown that the site or area has a treatable problem and that further personal injury collisions are likely to be reduced by cost effective engineering schemes. The latest three year set of collision data is usually used to formalise a local safety engineering programme.

It is important that a local safety engineering scheme is monitored to show if it is working and if there has been a cost benefit saving. Road safety engineers monitor and evaluate all road safety schemes for at least three years after implementation.

Road safety audits

Road safety audits are undertaken by road safety engineering professionals within the Council. The objective of a road safety audit is to identify any aspects of a highway improvement scheme that cause road safety concerns and where possible recommend modifications that would improve road safety of the scheme. The Council has partially adopted the National Standard that is incorporated within the Department for Transports Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (HD 19/03).

The standard says that highway improvement schemes should be audited at the following stages:

  • Stage one: completion of preliminary design
  • Stage two: completion of detailed design
  • Stage three: completion of construction

Collision and traffic survey data

Cheshire Constabulary provides the Council with recorded personal injury collision data for its highway network. This data is used to formulate a variety of road safety engineering and education programmes and monitors the performance of casualty reduction within the Council.

The Council also provides collision data to be used for external purposes, however there is a administration charge for this information that includes the time taken to undertake the required collision data search. A personal injury collision search request form must be completed together and submitted with the correct fee before any data can be released.

The Transport and Survey Team is able to provide traffic flow and speed data for the highway network. This is essentially done by radar, video, the use of handheld devices and placing electronic tubes on the highway. In addition to this, manual traffic surveys are undertaken for pedestrians and cyclists. Traffic flow and speed data can be requested at the following email address:

Please note there may be a charge for this data.

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