Local Transport Today is the authoritative, independent journal for transport decision makers. Analysis, Comment & News on Transport Policy, Planning, Finance and Delivery since 1989.

Planning tool focusses on people and micromobility

01 November 2022


Movement in towns and cities around the world is changing and road design needs to reflect this. While traditionally, urban road design has been car-centric, many cities have fundamentally shifted to a model that prioritises safety and mobility for pedestrians and cyclists.

In addition, a growth in micro-mobility – including low-speed vehicles such as e-scooters and rental bikes – is prompting cities to look for new ways to provide safer urban road environments for all road users.

Knowledge from across the globe has been brought together in a three-year project managed by the Road Safety Foundation and funded by the Road Safety Trust. Findings are being incorporated into the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) tools that provide various outputs when reviewing the safety of a road network.

The tools help planning authorities to understand how risk changes along an individual road section or across a network, based on the safety performance of the infrastructure itself. 

Kate Fuller, engineering director at the Road Safety Foundation, who is managing the project, says: “This means that the latest thinking and innovation for the safety of vulnerable road users is available to planning authorities in the UK, across Europe with EuroRAP and across more than 100 countries through iRAP, helping them make a better investment case to prevent fatal and serious injuries in urban areas.

The Road Safety Foundation has worked with Local Authorities in the UK: Kent County Council, Hampshire County Council, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and charities (Brake and iRAP) who have been involved throughout the project to define user requirements and review outputs.

The countermeasures which have been identified through a literature review have been trialled with Transport for Greater Manchester and Kent County Council and their comments on the countermeasures included in the review.

Stewart Fowler, road safety intelligence and innovations team aeader for Kent County Council said: “The development of the urban countermeasures is a useful addition to the ViDA tool enable us to better identify risk reduction measures in the urban environment, particularly risk to those travelling in vulnerable modes.”

The Road Safety Foundation is a UK charity that aims to help reduce road trauma. Over the last 20 years, the charity has maintained a particular focus on safer road infrastructure through the establishment of the European Road Assessment Programme and the development of the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) and its protocols for measuring infrastructure safety.

The RSF is responsible for supporting the Road Assessment Programme in the United Kingdom, and its work serves as a model of what can be achieved, with key research and innovation being replicated in RAP programmes across the world.

The Road Safety Trust is dedicated to achieving zero deaths and serious injuries on UK roads. To achieve this, the trust provides funding for practical measures, research, dissemination, and education.

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