News and Events
Here you’ll find the latest news on all the work that Merseyside Road Safety and our partners are doing to increase road safety across Merseyside.
MRSP Are Working with Roads Policing for Project EDWARD
Merseyside Police and Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are working together as part of this year’s 2020 ‘Project EDWARD’ (Every Day Without a Road Death). Nationally, there will be a programme of activities to highlight the issues that cause road casualties and a National policing initiative, “One Road, One Week” which aims to tackle collision hotspots.
Project EDWARD runs from the 14th – 18th of September, and aims to reduce road casualties right across Europe. Across those five days, the Merseyside Police officers will be attending sites, speaking with drivers and conducting enforcement in Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton, Liverpool and St Helens. Each site has been chosen based on a mixture of community feedback and collision data.
Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has made working in partnership to improve road safety one of her policing priorities and is giving her full support to the week-long campaign.
Jane said: “Road crashes can shatter lives. They can bring injury and suffering to those involved, as well as to their families and loved ones.
“Ensuring our roads are as safe as possible is a priority for me, for Merseyside Police and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. We are working hard, all year round, to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads, making them safer for everyone to use.
“Crashes generally happen on our roads because people make mistakes. It might be poor judgement, a lapse of concentration, complacency, a poor decision or ignorance of road safety and the law. Project Edward is a great opportunity to educate and engage with road users to reduce the risks and to ensure that when these mistakes happen, they do not result in someone dying or suffering life-changing injures.
“Our ultimate goal is that no-one loses their life on our roads and to achieve that we need all road users to pledge to use our roads more safely.”
Acting Inspector Gavin Dick of Merseyside Roads Policing Unit said: “We know that the sites we’ve chosen are ones that local communities have concerns about, and the collision data we’ve analysed reflects that. This isn’t only about speeding drivers – this week is about all the risk factors that can lead to people being killed and seriously injured: mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts, alcohol and drug driving. We want to see everyone using these roads – pedestrians and cyclists included – safely. We recognise that different types of road users face different challenges, and this week is much about engaging with, and educating people, as much as anything else.”
In 2018, 499 people were killed or seriously injured on the roads of Merseyside. Merseyside Road Safety Partnership will be encouraging all road users to go online and sign The Pledge. The Pledge asks drivers to always consider the safety of others when they drive, walk or cycle, to drive at appropriate speeds in Merseyside, and to respect the presence of other vulnerable road users.
Casualty Reduction Officer, Paul Mountford, of Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “The Merseyside Road Safety Partnership recognises that road safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just that of the police and other emergency services. We welcome the opportunity that Project EDWARD provides to conduct focussed enforcement and engagement with road users to address those issues that cause collisions and casualties such as speeding and illegal mobile phone use by drivers. If we are to continue to ‘drive down’ our casualty figures in Merseyside, we need the continued support of the public and that is why I would urge everyone to sign up to our road safety pledge. The Pledge is just the first step to learning about how we can all make our roads safer”.
Road Safety Teams across Merseyside are urging everyone to take extra care as the schools return this week.
Many of us have become used to less frequent journeys on quieter roads and September is likely to bring increased traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.
With the added complications of social distancing and concerns around Covid-19, it is essential that we also remain mindful of the dangers of the road environment.
Whatever the mode of transport, the school run will be largely unfamiliar as most children have not been in regular schooling since March. It is important for parents and guardians to take the time to talk to their child about staying safe on their journeys.
Young children are unpredictable and need close supervision – hold hands with them whenever possible and demonstrate the behaviour you expect from them. Stop at the kerb every time and make sure that they know to look in every direction – not just left and right – before deciding it’s safe to cross.
Older children may need a reminder to pay attention to their surroundings as they can easily be distracted when they are on their phones or walking with friends. Distractions are a major factor in this age group being injured on the road.
You can find hints and tips about safe independent travel for senior age children (and some of this info is relevant for children of all ages) here.
If you’re driving – especially during school drop off and pick up times, please remember to look out for vulnerable road users. You’ll also need to allow for increased journey times and and be considerate when parking your vehicle – see our section on pavement parking for more info.
Why not join us in taking The Road Safety Pledge. We all need to do our bit to help reduce road casualties/fatalities in Merseyside and make our roads safer for ALL road users, find out more here.
Click here to read our Move on Merseyside section for information about travelling across Merseyside safely post lockdown.
Show your support and take The Pledge
As part of our on-going commitment to reducing the number of deaths on our roads, we ask everyone to join us and ‘take the pledge’ to be safer and more responsible road users. Whether you’re a driver, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, we all must share the responsibility and do our bit to make our roads safer.
By signing up, you will show that you are prepared to put the safety of yourself and others first and that when you undertake a journey, you do so with consideration and respect for everyone.
We’ll support you by sending tips and advice on how your can maximise your efforts and travel safely, all year round. We’ll also keep you updated with the latest initiatives, engineering solutions and enforcement activities as we continue to work towards fewer road deaths each year.
It’s easy to support us and show your commitment. Simply read the following pledge and then fill in your details and click the button to receive a pledge certificate and our seasonal emailer – remember you can unsubscribe at any time.
- Consider the safety of others when I drive, walk or cycle
- Drive at an appropriate speed (often slower than the speed limit) on the roads of Merseyside
- Respect the presence of other, more vulnerable road users
- Maintain a high driving standard to influence how others use the roads
- Carry out regular checks on my vehicle, including tyres to ensure that my vehicle is safe and roadworthy
- Through my actions, I will support the aims of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership in making our roads safer for me, my family and others and reducing road casualties
New Adult Cycling sessions launched for Merseyside residents – and they’re free!
With many Merseyside residents getting a taste for cycling recently, free adult cycle training is being offered in order to help local people build confidence and improve their skills.
Cycling has become the ‘new normal’ for lots of people. Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are working with BikeRight! and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to offer these courses as part of a package of measures aimed at improving safety in the region.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “It’s been great to see so many people taking up or reigniting their enthusiasm for cycling during lockdown. I hope it is the start of a change in our road culture which sees more people walking and cycling on a regular basis, while putting an end to the ‘car is king’ ethos which has permeated far too long.
“It is important that people who are choosing to cycle more often know how to do so safely. These free courses are a great opportunity for adults and children to hone their skills and to improve their confidence on two wheels. I would encourage people to take advantage of this free training and sign up today.”
Cycle Training for Everyone
Cycle training is also available for children aged 10+ who missed the training delivered in schools due to Coronavirus. Education initiatives are also planned for drivers including Safe Pass operations which are designed to encourage motorists to give more space when overtaking pedal cyclists.
Cllr Liam Robinson, transport portfolio holder for Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “For many years we’ve been one of the leading regions in the country for providing cycle safety training to young people so it’s fantastic to see this being extended to adults too.
“We’re kick-starting an active travel revolution here in the Liverpool City Region, putting millions of pounds into building, not only pop-up bike lanes, but also a 600km network of permanent cycle routes.
“But building confidence in cycling is just as important as building bike lanes and that’s why it’s so important that, working with partners BikeRight! and Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, we can help give cycling lessons to local people of all ages.”
Courses will be accessible across Merseyside with the first sessions in Birkenhead & Liverpool. The courses are all run by qualified trainers, and are an ideal way to boost confidence in adults and children alike. BikeRight! Managing Director David Showell said: “With so many people turning to cycling for travel and health reasons, it’s great that the Combined Authority and MRSP have come together to offer this free training to the region’s residents and workforces.
“The cycle training sessions and the new cycle lanes across the area will be key in facilitating people’s access to employment, education and training across Merseyside as part of the Covid19 recovery plan.”
Courses for adults run on Saturdays for 2 hours and those for children aged 10 and over are from 9.00am until 3.00pm on weekdays.
Places fill up fast, but more dates will be added. Booking is online at https://www.bikeright.co.uk.
Helping everyone move on Merseyside
As Merseyside begins to recover from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and with lockdown restrictions lifting in most areas, we are seeing an increase in traffic on the roads. People returning to work, shopping for non-essential goods and socialising mean our quiet, empty roads are becoming busy once more.
During lockdown Merseyside like the rest of the UK, saw increased walking and cycling activity. Now more than ever it’s vital people choose to continue to walk or cycle. Whether it’s to work, for necessity, for exercise or for leisure purposes we want people to feel safe and confident and have the support for active travel.
There’s a lot of talk about getting ‘back to normal’ but we may need to adapt to a ‘new normal’ in the coming months and into next year.
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are working in conjunction with Liverpool City Region, Metro Mayor, Merseytravel and BikeRight to provide information and resources to suit all road users. We are continuing to look at safe, sustainable options, to help you make smart and informed travel choices, now and in the future. We want to help everyone move on Merseyside.
Pedestrians & Cyclists
Since March 2020 we’ve introduced temporary measures like pop-up walk ways, cycling lanes and traffic calming solutions in a bid to accommodate more people wanting to participate in active travel. In July Liverpool City Region announced plans for six new walking and cycling routes across Merseyside. Most of these routes are set to be completed by the end of the summer and will make it safer and easier for people to travel by foot or bike.
For more information about these routes click here to read the news article on Liverpool City Region’s website.
Cycling is great for boosting your mental and physical well-being. It’s a low impact activity, so it’s ideal if you’re looking for a gentle form of exercise. It’s also one of the best forms of physical activity if you’re recovering from a joint injury or you suffer with arthritis – it can help strengthen leg muscles and so actively support your joints and in some cases lessen joint pain.
Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist, new to two wheels or you’ve rediscovered a love of cycling, we have some handy tips and advice to make your cycling journey a safe, easy and happy experience. From free adult and child cycle sessions (see below) to resources like Collideoscope (the national initiative allowing cyclists to report collisions or near misses). We also have a ‘Cyclists’ section on our website, where you’ll find practical advice and see what we are doing to help cyclists in general.
Free Adult Cycle Skills Sessions
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership and Liverpool CA have identified funding to provide, free one-to-one and group Cycle Skills sessions for adults who live, work or study in Merseyside. These National Cycle Training Standards sessions are tailored to suit the individual’s needs.
Basic Cycle Skills
Develop your riding in a safe, off-road environment with a qualified instructor. You’ll learn the basics, build your skills and gain the confidence to be able to navigate around your local area.
Urban Cycle Skills
Improve your cycling skills and confidence. You’ll start in an off-road environment to refresh your cycling technique and develop new skills before moving on to practise on quiet roads. Your qualified instructor will support you throughout.
Advanced Cycle Skills
Perfect your cycling techniques with a qualified trainer. Improve your performance when dealing with complex junctions, heavy traffic or cycling at night and receive assurance that you are cycling efficiently and effectively.
Want to know more?
The session lasts for two hours. For full details and to book individual sessions and group courses online click here.
Free Child Cycle Training
In July we announced ‘Bikeability’ cycle training for children aged 10 and over throughout Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.
The sessions are a great idea for children transitioning to or already in senior school
- providing them with on-road experience
- helping them make safe choices
- giving them an understanding of road use
These Level 2 group training sessions are delivered by BikeRight – the national cycle training organisation and take place during the summer school holidays. For more info or to book your child’s FREE place click here.
We all know that there are many physical and mental benefits to going for a walk. It’s great for alleviating stress, anxiety and boosting your self-esteem. It also improves your sleep patterns, mood and active people have up to 30% less chance of becoming depressed.
So, why do you walk – to get to work, to the shops, to see friends or family or to get out in the fresh air? We want people to keep walking, but we recognise pedestrians need support in order to do so. In the ‘Pedestrians’ section on our website we’ve put together some practical advice, information and a list of resources to help keep you safe. There’s also support and information on the Living Streets website, click here to read what they are doing for pedestrians.
Pavement parking is a real issue and one that shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored. Pedestrians have the right to walk along a pavement unhindered by obstacles that may cause them harm or force them to step out into the road. We’ve put together a section on our website to inform drivers of what they should and shouldn’t be doing with regards to pavements. There’s also a resource for pedestrians to provide evidence of poor parking activity. Read about pavement parking.
To help us identify locations that require traffic calming measures for pedestrians and cyclists, during the coronavirus crisis each local authority set up a liveable streets website. The site allows people to report any issues or enhancements that can be made to reduce incidents on the road.
Click one of the local authorities below to find out more or to report an issue. Please note comments must be submitted before the 31st August 2020.
If you usually drive to work and have started back or you are about to – have you considered walking or cycling as an alternative to driving? It needn’t be a full-time commitment, making an active travel choice once or twice a week could give you great physical and mental benefits, not to mention it’s good for the environment too.
We appreciate for some this just isn’t an option, so you’ll need to bear in mind there are a lot more pedestrians and cyclists on the road. And to help keep all road users safe we’ve introduced changes to road layouts and increased traffic calming measures. You can find details of these changes on Liverpool City Region’s website.
We ask that you continue to be considerate of other types of road users:
- pass cyclists at a safe distance (1.5 metres from the side of their bicycle to the side of your vehicle)
- look out for cyclists at junctions/traffic lights (where most collisions occur)
- make safe parking choices
- watch out for pedestrians using road crossings (where most collisions occur)
If you’re 60+ and you haven’t driven for a while we have initiatives like Drive Safely for Longer to help you refresh your driving skills. For young adults (aged 17 to 24) our Engage Driving initiative will help them learn the skills they need to be a safe and confident driver. You can also find advice about all aspects of driving in the ‘Drivers’ section of our website, from driving offences to child car seats.
Public Transport Users
For the most up-to-date information about using public transport go to Merseytravel’s website.
The Partnership’s Vision for Merseyside
The Merseyside Road Safety Partnership’s vision is to make our roads a safer environment for everyone. We believe this is a contributing factor to the successful growth of the Merseyside Region.
With all road traffic collisions, there is a significant emotional cost and considerable effect on all those involved and connected. In addition, there is a great financial cost and burden on the National Health Service (NHS) and other organisations.
Our target is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured to 400 by 2020, and to keep on reducing it into the future. One person killed or seriously injured on our roads is one too many.
In order to reduce the number of casualties on roads in Merseyside, and improve progress on achieving our target, we focus on four specific road user groups:
However, that doesn’t mean we exclude ongoing activity in other areas. For example, reducing child pedestrian casualties is still a priority, and we continuously monitor issues around the region as they happen in order to re-focus our energy if and when patterns change.
St Helens Young People Given Road Safety Material To Help With Secondary School Transition
Primary school leavers in St Helens Borough are now better equipped to start secondary school after receiving free travel material from St Helens Borough Council’s Road Safety Team.
Distributed to a total of 1,600 pupils, the Way2Go magazine includes all the important information needed when taking the big leap from primary school to high school. The magazine covers everything from route planning, to getting to and from school safely.
Parents and carers have also benefited from access to an online guide called ‘Moving Up’ which has been shared with schools.
Melanie Burrows, Road Safety Team Leader for St Helens Borough Council, said:
“National statistics show that pupils in Years 7-9 are, sadly, three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions than those in Year 4-6, which is why we felt it necessary to provide resources like this to assist our young people as they embark on the next stage of their journey through education.
“Starting high school can often mean young people are given a lot more independence, whether it’s walking, cycling or getting the bus to school on their own – not to mention being allowed out more after school – so it’s absolutely crucial they are reminded of the importance of road safety.”
St Helens Borough Council’s Road Safety Team
Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, added: “The importance of road safety can never be over-emphasised and it’s vital that we engage with children as early as possible.
“Our Road Safety Team do a fantastic job, working with local schools to get children and young people thinking about road safety, discussing it with their friends, coming up with new ideas to promote it – and resources like this are such an essential tool in helping them as they begin to start experiencing the world on their own more.”
St Helens Borough Council’s Road Safety Team – under normal circumstances – work with dozens of schools across the borough during the academic year on a number of projects. These include the Junior Road Safety Officer initiative, which sees Year 5 and 6 pupils take part in workshops that generate campaigns to further improve road safety education in their community and borough as a whole.
Meanwhile, as part of a more region-wide approach to addressing road safety, the team also form part of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership working with, among others, Merseyside Police. The team help coordinate enforcement operations and engagement events covering various issues such as child car seats, seat belts, mobile phones and excessive speed. The partnership also act as a resource providing information to cyclists and senior road users.
Getting In The Way of a Safety Camera Van
Over the past few years, safety camera van operators and police have noticed an increase in the amount of people attempting to obstruct safety camera vans. A lot of the time it’s so they can film themselves being obstructive and post it online for easy likes, but it’s not such a good idea…
Apart from restricting the safety camera vans from achieving their purpose, and the operators doing their job (keeping speeds down and the public safe), under Section 46(2) of the Police Reform Act 2002, it’s an offence to wilfully obstruct a designated person in the execution of their duty, carrying a sentence of up to 51 weeks imprisonment.
Obstructing the police
What does that mean in simple terms? Safety camera officers in some circumstances may not be police, but the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police has given the operators the same Section 38 powers. So, if you stop them doing their job properly, it’s as if you did it to a police officer, and can land you nearly a year in prison.
All of the vehicles the Merseyside Safer Roads Unit Enforcement officers operate have 360 degree CCTV and Dashcam facilities. The operators also deploy with body worn cameras. This is for their protection, the protection of members of the public and the availability if required to use footage in a potential prosecution.
Making it harder for someone who’s just trying to do their job isn’t very nice, and there are definitely easier ways to get likes – ones that don’t result in a prison sentence.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today welcomed a national report which urges a stronger focus and greater resources to be allocated to roads policing.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has released the results of its national inspection which found that spending on roads policing has dropped by 34% nationally since 2012. After a steady decline in the number of roads deaths since 1979, the figures show that since 2013 the number of people killed nationally has plateaued and is now starting to slowly increase again.
The report, which calls for a greater emphasis to be placed on roads policing across England and Wales, has been welcomed by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy, who made ‘working with partners to improve road safety’ one of her policing priorities in 2017.
Since then, Merseyside has bucked the national trend – recording a year-on-year 10% annual reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on its roads, while introducing a range of initiatives to help protect vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, cyclists, elderly road users and young people.
Jane said: “Every death or serious injury on the roads of Merseyside is one death too many. Far more people are killed on our region’s roads than lose their life to serious and organised crime. That means road safety needs to be taken very seriously and it’s why I decided to make it one of my policing priorities three years ago.
“When I made that announcement in 2017, nearly 600 people had been killed or seriously injured on our roads in the previous year. We are on track to get that figure down to less than 400 this year, but my ultimate vision is that no-one dies or suffers life changing injury on our roads.
“While Merseyside was not inspected for this report, I welcome the push from inspectors for a clear and pressing focus on roads policing nationally to reduce the number of deaths, greater resources to be allocated and the need for clearer guidance from the Home Office and Department of Transport.
“Here on Merseyside, our Roads Safety Partnership and the force’s Roads Policing Unit have worked tremendously hard to reduce the number of people who have been killed or suffered life-changing injuries over the last three years, while other police areas have been registering an increase.
“Our roads have been quieter during lockdown but officers have been out patrolling key routes through the region, running proactive enforcement operations and stopping drivers for flouting speeding and other traffic laws. Between March and May this year, 120 people were prosecuted for speeding offences, including cases where drivers were clocked at 103mph in a 50mph zone and 100mph in a 70mph zone. During this time, more than 250 people were arrested in connection with drink or drug driving offences. High profile operations have also been put in place to tackle the anti-social and dangerous use of bikes and have clamped down on taxi drivers who take to our roads under the influence of drinks and drugs or in unsafe vehicles which are putting passengers in jeopardy.
“Merseyside Police have launched an online portal to enable the public to report incidents to them and upload their own video footage. Cyclists can also report near-misses using the Collideoscope website which is helping us to identify ‘hot spots’. A host of initiatives are also up and running with the aim of better safeguarding some of our most vulnerable road users, including ‘safe pass’ operations to protect cyclists and courses to improve the safety and awareness of senior road users and novice drivers.
“The force has also invested in new technology, such as the ‘Ranger Concept Device’ which is used to tackle speeding in hotspot areas which have been previously difficult to enforce. In the first 17 weeks since it was introduced, this top-of-the-range piece of kit assisted officers in capturing 2,621 speeding offences. The funds recouped from these potentially life-saving operations are then reinvested in resources and operations to make our roads even safer – from breathalyser kits to Kid’s Court sessions and Bikesafe workshops.
“It is important to highlight, as this report does, that making our roads safer is not solely a job for the police. While enforcement of the law to improve safety on our road network is crucial, better engineering of our roads and greater education of road users are vital if we are to reduce the danger to the public who use the roads and we need the collective support of all our community safety partners if we are to achieve this.”
Making the transition to secondary school safer
Many of you will be parents of children ready to take the big step from Year 6 to secondary school. Knowsley Council have produced the following guide to assist with that change whilst ensuring their safety on the roads.
It helps you advise your children on how to travel safely and independently to school, whether they catch a bus, walk, cycle or catch the train. Download a copy of the guide here.