Agenda item

Inquiry Report: Prevention of Deaths & Serious Injuries on Leeds Roads

To consider the final version of the 2021/22 inquiry report into the prevention of deaths and serious injuries on Leeds roads.


The following individuals attended for this item:


-  Cllr Helen Hayden (Executive Member)

-  Gary Bartlett (Chief Officer, Transportation & Highways)


The Chair introduced the item. He reminded colleagues that a draft version of the inquiry report was provided to Executive Board in February 2022 to support the proposal to begin consulting on adopting a Vision Zero approach to road deaths in Leeds. He reiterated that the inquiry had concluded that road safety should be approached as a public health issue and the adoption of a Vision Zero approach should be warmly welcomed.


The predecessor Board had asked for further discussion of 3 issues (school crossing patrols, pedestrian crossing criteria and school streets), which were considered at a meeting in April 2022. Additional recommendations relating to these items were included in the final report being considered by the Board at this meeting. 


Gary Bartlett welcomed the support from members for the draft Vision Zero strategy. He noted the scale of the ambition and the significant change from a traditional approach to road safety. 


Gary noted that progress has already been made since some of the recommendations were drafted, including in relation to speed camera criteria. He reiterated that in Leeds partners want to be able more use of average speed camera in locations where it is judged they could have significant impact on driver behaviours. 


Gary went on to underline the scale of the challenge and the need for all stakeholders, including the public, to work collectively to make any road deaths unacceptable.


Cllr Hayden urged colleagues to take part and share a Council consultation about establishing a vehicular nuisance public protection order across Leeds. It was agreed the link would be shared with Board members.


The Board discussed the advantages of average speed cameras but sought more clarification about whether the technology also addressed ‘spot speeding’. Members were advised that update criteria would seek to reduce the minimum space between cameras to help address sudden increases in speed.


Members sought further information about potential locations for additional speed cameras, noting community concerns about traffic coming off the motorway at speed to avoid congestion in peak periods.


The potential to use average speed cameras as another tool to tackle speeding was welcomed. However, members also acknowledged the importance of education within communities to change driver behaviours.


The Scrutiny Board discussed the challenge of benchmarking performance given different local contexts and the impact of the pandemic on traffic volumes in recent years. The potential impact of a modern public mass transit system on road deaths was noted.


It was agreed that Gary would provide the Principal Scrutiny Advisor with more information about benchmarking to circulate to the Scrutiny Board.


It was agreed it is important for community committees to be engaged on this agenda so they can take proactive action to champion Vision Zero in their localities.


The Scrutiny Board debated the challenge of adapting to new pedestrian crossing technology and confirmed that officers are considering options to put additional educational material online.


It was noted that increasingly in the city centre and localities, the Council is trying to give more priority to pedestrians and cyclists than vehicles.


Cllr Hayden confirmed that crossing times will be extended across the city, in line with changes to the highway code which aim to prioritise pedestrians, followed by cyclists then vehicles. It was noted that there had been very little publication from the Department for Transport on changes to the Highway Code and it is anticipated that behaviour change will take some time.




The Scrutiny Board resolved that:


-  The final report and the officer responses to recommendations be noted.


-  An annual update on progress towards achieving Vision Zero should be received by the Scrutiny Board.


-  The link to the draft consultation on establishing a vehicular nuisance public protection order to be shared via the Principal Scrutiny Advisor.


-  Additional information about benchmarking to be provided to the PSA for circulation to the Scrutiny Board.


Supporting documents: