In October 2008, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee called for the establishment of ‘an authoritative and independent road safety commission’ [Report HC 460, para 132].
The Government did not take up the recommendation, however PACTS was pleased to do so and announced the establishment of the Transport Safety Commission in March 2013. Barry Sheerman MP, Chairman and founding member of PACTS, said: “I am delighted to announce that PACTS will be launching a Transport Safety Commission. This will be a high level body with MPs, Peers and independent experts. The commission model has worked very successfully in other areas of public policy and I am confident that it will be equally successful for transport safety. Establishing a Commission is a move that PACTS has been considering for some time.”
The Commission acted as an independent body. PACTS provided the secretariat.
Inquiry and report
UK Transport Safety: Who is Responsible?
The Commission inquired into the legal framework and institutional responsibilities for transport safety (road, rail and aviation). The aim was to compare and contrast the different responsibilities and accountabilities for transport safety with reference to identified international good practice, to highlight strengths and weaknesses of current approaches and determine whether or not lessons can be identified and transferable from one mode to another. The inquiry was chaired by Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Professor Stephen Glaister, with Commission members drawn from a wide range of sectors. The Commission received written evidence and took oral evidence at five hearings from safety experts and individuals in senior positions, including the road safety minister.
The report was published in 2015. It concluded that the legal framework and institutional responsibilities for aviation and rail safety were largely in place and working well. However, this was not the case regarding safety on the roads. Two of the Commission’s key recommendations were:
- establishment of an independent national road casualty investigation body;
- greater emphasis on improving work-related road safety and reducing associated casualties.
The Commission received a response from Andrew Jones MP, Roads Minister at the time of report release. A copy of his letter is available here.
The inquiry has now concluded and the Commission is grateful to all who contributed.
Work-related Road Safety Forum
In 2016, members of the Commission, with the support of PACTS, established a Work-related Road Safety Forum, to take forward this key recommendation of the Commission. PACTS provides the secretariat.
In respect of the other recommendation (a road casualty investigation body), the Government appears to have moved to a more positive view on this. It is part-funding the Road Collision Investigation Project, run by the RAC Foundation, due to report in 2022. PACTS is a member of the Steering Board.
If you would like further information regarding the Transport Safety Commission or the Work-related Road Safety Forum, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org