Highways England, the company responsible for running over 4000 miles of England’s motorways and major trunk roads, is to become the third partner in a landmark collaboration to improve motorcycle rider safety. The government owned company will join the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) as an equal partner in facilitating practical changes to roads, as detailed in a jointly written whitepaper: ‘Realising the Motorcycling Opportunity: A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework’.
The Framework calls for motorcycles and scooters to be included in mainstream transport policy and for rider safety to be consistently factored into national road design, which has not been the case in the past. Seven key areas have been identified, which would make roads safer for riders, along with actions as to how this can be achieved practically. These include: safer infrastructure, expanding road user education, increasing awareness and training and working in partnership with cycle groups.
The Framework also advocates unlocking the benefits of motorcycles and demonstrating exactly how they offer a practical solution to congestion, as well as improving personal mobility for people without access to other forms of transport.
Highways England has a goal of bringing the number of people killed or injured on the strategic road network as close as possible to zero by 2040. It will work with police and MCIA across all seven areas identified in the Framework and will lead on ‘safer infrastructure’.
Mike Wilson, Highways England’s Chief Highways Engineer, said: “Safety is our top priority and we believe no one should be harmed when travelling or working on our road network. We are committed to both reducing the number of motorcycle incidents and casualties on our roads and to improving the experience motorcyclists have on those roads; this influential partnership with the industry and police supports that commitment.”
Deputy Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Tim Madgwick, who is the national motorcycle lead for the National Police Chiefs Council says: “The Police service is on the front line, dealing with the devastation that is caused to families and the greater community by road traffic collisions. The opportunity to work with both Highways England and the Motorcycle Industry Association gives us far greater scope to make our roads a safer place, not only for those who use powered two wheelers, but for all road users. In addition to the safety aspect, encouraging greater use of motorcycles will also contribute greatly to reducing congestion and therefore journey times across the country.”
Karen Cole, Director of Safety and Training, says: “Highways England brings significant resource to this ambitious project; financially and in terms of influence, expertise and evidence-based decision making; add this to police backing and we have an unprecedented opportunity to make a huge difference to riders”.
Documents available to download
For more information on this initiative, please contact: Stevie Muir. MCIA public relations and communications officer