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Leeds aims to end all road deaths by 2040

Deniz Huseyin
04 October 2022


Leeds City Council has adopted a road safety strategy, with the aim that by 2040 no one will be killed or suffer serious injuries on roads in the city. 

The Leeds Safe Roads Vision Zero 2040 Strategy is made up of five ‘Safe System pillars’ to address road danger: 

1) Safe Behaviours and People, which focuses on the behaviours that cause the most risk to all road-users. They include speeding, seatbelt offences, drink and drug driving, distraction, and careless driving. 

2) Safe Speeds, which aims to prevent and discourage people from speeding, though measures such as targeted enforcement, education and the potential reduction of speed limits on faster roads. 

3) Safe Roads - by reconfiguring street designs and widening networks of safe routes, the strategy will prioritise humans and communities over vehicles. More space for people and less for cars will ensure people feel safe to travel in greener, healthier ways. 

4) Safe Vehicles - Everyone has a responsibility to use roadworthy vehicles, and the strategy will raise awareness of this. By enforcing offences, using modern technology and creating innovative design features more crashes can be prevented. 

5) Post-collision Learning and Care - By examining the reasons behind crashes, the council aims to identify the most effective ways to prevent them happening again. 

Between 2017 and 2021, road crashes in Leeds killed 93 people and seriously injured another 1,562 (1,655 in total). 

Cllr Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said: “Around the world, cities are pioneering a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road danger. We have a bold ambition; that by 2040 no one will be killed or suffer serious injuries on roads in Leeds. 

“For Leeds to be a city where you don’t need a car, roads must be safe for people to walk, scoot, wheel, and cycle.  

“Vision Zero is our strategy to cut traffic risk so that no one is killed or seriously injured using the roads.”

The safe system model was adopted in the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy, which changed the council’s approach to addressing road danger and recognised that road danger can prevent more people from walking and cycling, said Hayden. 

“If road deaths were eliminated and there was increased use of active travel, a positive impact on access to jobs and services and inclusive growth would be realised. Active travel is an achievable way of increasing levels of activity which promotes health and wellbeing; and reductions in traffic levels and increases in active travel will reduce carbon emissions from transport.” 

Leeds district commander, chief superintendent Steve Dodds said the Vision Zero Strategy is a “vital opportunity for us to maximise the combined expertise and resources of a range of partner agencies to help make the roads in our city and its communities safer for everyone”.

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