Novel road safety projects win funding

Eight local authorities in England have been awarded UK government funding to tackle road safety problems in their areas using new techniques, then share evidence with other authorities and agencies.

Announcing the allocation of £3.5m for the projects, Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and in 2007 the number of people killed on the roads fell below 3,000 for the first time since records began in 1926.

"But if we are to continue to cut this terrible toll we need to find innovative ways to tackle the road safety problems we face. This extra funding will support local authorities using the latest techniques, which in turn will help to spread good practice around the country and make our roads safer for everyone."

The eight Road Safety Partnership Grants are:

* Up to £854,000 for Staffordshire County Council to improve safety for motorcyclists by raising car driver awareness, tackling hazards such as diesel spills and mud on the road more effectively, making minor highway engineering changes, providing pre-rider education for 13-year-olds upwards and when motorcyclists are learning.

* Up to £200,000 for Derbyshire County Council to use an innovative data system to analyse patterns of motorcycling and to target social marketing towards motorcyclists. The project will involve working closely with the motorcycling community in Derbyshire, with education, training, publicity and targeted enforcement activities.

* Up to £66,000 for Warwickshire County Council for a small pilot programme to be expanded to cover up to 1,300 powered two-wheeler riders across the West Mercia area. The 'Take Control' motorcycle training enhances riders' abilities by offering subsidised and accessible training for riders at high risk of injury including riders who would have progressed from mopeds to 125cc bikes without additional training, new or inexperienced riders of high-powered machines and riders motorcycling for leisure.

* Up to £597,000 for the new Cheshire East Council to lead a project to reduce the disproportionately high numbers of motorcyclists casualties on the A537 'Cat & Fiddle'.

* Up to £849,000 for Lancashire County Council to test innovative in-vehicle systems that warn drivers when they are speeding or approaching sharp curves.

* Up to £480,000 for the Unity Partnership - on behalf of Oldham Borough Council - for road safety education targeted towards adults in five areas in Oldham with concentrations of road casualties, to help them to pass key messages on to children and so reinforce road safety education in schools.

* Up to £49,000 for Bristol City Council to work with the University of West of England to evaluate the effectiveness of social marketing targeted towards young drivers in deprived areas.

* Up to £284,000 for the London Borough of Hounslow for a tailored road safety programme directed towards the Somali community, which is disproportionately represented in road casualties locally.

Funding of £28,500 was also today awarded to the Child Accident Prevention Trust to support child safety week and up to £41,000 is available for Brake related to road safety week.

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