PACTS Newsletter October 2020
We are now into a wet and windy autumn but I would like to wish you our warmest greetings and bring you up to date with news from PACTS.
You may have seen the 2019 road casualty figures published on 30th September by the Department for Transport. The reduction in total casualties, highlighted by the DfT, was largely due to a reduction in slight injuries with very little change in deaths or serious injuries. This continues a trend of no real progress since 2010. It is very disappointing.
On the public transport front (bus and rail) PACTS has urged the government to provide clearer advice and to take account of a wider range of risks, not only coronavirus. The public is confused, and public transport patronage is well down, whilst car traffic is above pre-lockdown levels. This works against the Government’s active travel ambitions. It is also very worrying for the long-term viability of public transport – safe and stainable travel modes.
Although air travel is currently low, safety challenges remain. In January the UK Civil Aviation Authority takes back safety responsibilities from the European Air Safety Agency. This will present challenges as it has had only months to prepare.
I am very pleased to be able to tell you that the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Transport Safety has been re-established. The group met on 16th September: Lilian Greenwood MP was elected Chair and Sir Peter Bottomley MP Co-chair. Further details of the group are at http://www.transportsafetyappg.org.uk/ Road safety minister, Baroness Vere, has been invited to speak at the first meeting. PACTS provides the secretariat.
PACTS met recently with International Trade Minister Greg Hands MP to explain our concerns about a possible lowering of vehicle safety standards through international free trade deals. The minister was keen to reassure us. We will continue to monitor this. Our briefing note was report on the BBC and elsewhere.
Like you, we have been learning to cope with the coronavirus restrictions. This has not stopped us working on important projects, responding to the new agenda and trying to shape the “new normal”. Our meetings are now online. We would prefer to meet in person but online meetings are proving successful, allowing many more people to participate.
Our research projects on drink and drug driving, alcolocks, MEBTI and 20mph/30kph limits are progressing well. Our report on roads policing is contributing to the DfT/HO/NPCC Joint Review of roads policing.
Even in these difficult times, organisations continue to join us. We have set out the benefits of PACTS membership in a new brochure.
If you would like more information please contact PACTS at firstname.lastname@example.org