A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
In 2012, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) approached the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA). The NPCC were concerned by what seemed to be an emerging slowdown in motorcycle casualty reduction, coupled with trends in certain areas of safety which appeared to be moving in reverse. These views were shared by MCIA and it was agreed that a fresh approach to motorcycle safety was needed.
Previous work in the safety and transport policy area was reviewed. Although it was clear that some positive gains had been made on motorcycle safety since 2000, no particular approach or strategy had resulted in large scale PTW casualty reduction.
In partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT), a conference, ‘More Motorcycles Could Reduce Casualties!’ was held at the DfT on November 11th 2013. This conference tested the headline theory and received presentations on several aspects of road safety and transport policy. It sparked a great deal of interest and after further discussions within the NPCC/MCIA team and also with the DfT, it was decided that the next step would be to produce a ‘Framework’ for motorcycle safety and transport policy.
The official launch in Dec 2014 of ‘Realising the Motorcycling Opportunity: A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework’ was the result of this work.
This 3rd edition of the framework builds upon the original document which for the first time linked traditional approaches to safety policy alongside the wider impacts of Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) use on society as a whole. Importantly, it describes how government transport policy should be evolved to recognise motorcycling as a potential solution to many transport and environmental challenges. This ground-breaking framework proposed key themes for creating a sustainable environment for safer motorcycling and for motorcycling to develop as part of UK transport policy.
Recent changes in how the strategic road network is managed have presented an exciting new opportunity for Highways England to add its support to this framework.
Highways England is committed to making the network safer and believe that ‘no one should be harmed when travelling or working on the Strategic Road Network’. To achieve this ambitious goal, Highways England has put safety at the core of its work and implemented a comprehensive Safe Systems approach and strategy which focusses on three key pillars of safer vehicles, safer roads and safer people and will work towards the elimination of people killed or injured on the strategic road network by 2040.
Highways England’s focus on safety is clear; Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones stated in his foreword to the British Road Safety Statement1 that ‘road safety is a matter of national importance, the work that we do now will help reduce the pressure on the NHS and the emergency services as well as supporting economic growth and reduce the estimated cost of road traffic collisions to the UK economy of over £16.3 billion per year.’
This exciting new partnership between The NPCC, MCIA and Highways England brings together three key players who together can provide a truly positive influence on transport policy, bringing a real change in understanding and attitudes towards the benefits of PTWs. This partnership has the necessary experience, skills and detailed knowledge to deliver a multi-faceted approach which will bring real safety benefits to a key vulnerable user group.
Underpinning this framework and the associated actions will be a comprehensive safe systems approach. This will enable traction on road safety activities, delivering positive outcomes and realising clear safety benefits for motorcycling. In other words, this Framework proposes key themes for creating a sustainable environment for safer motorcycling and for motorcycling to develop as part of UK transport policy.
The actions within the framework will be considered as part of the ongoing work of MCIA, NPCC and Highways England, and will be managed by means of a detailed delivery plan. This will ensure that a fully inclusive partnership approach is adopted in order to bring the combined assets and capabilities of the motorcycle community to bear in achieving its aims. Actions within the delivery plan will be assigned to an owner who will be responsible for reporting back to a working group on progress towards achieving the actions. The delivery plan will be maintained and used to track progress, which will also enable the wider reporting of key achievements as they occur.
We are delighted to welcome Highways England to the MSTP team.
To summarise, thus far PTWs have not been utilised in transport planning strategy. The historic reasons for this are documented and recorded in the earlier editions. This 3rd edition looks forward to creating a long term safe and sustainable environment in which the PTW economic contribution to UK transport policy can be realised and where local, regional and city transport authorities can be inspired by the developments of this Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework and all can work ‘together for a safer future’.
DCC Tim madgwick North Yorkshire Police NPCC Motorcycle Lead
Steve kenward Motorcycle Industry Association CEO
Jim O'Sullivan Highways England CEO