With the adoption of Warrington’s most recent Local Transport Plan a few months ago, now is a good opportunity to review your road safety habits and whether they need to adapt in the light of this document.
From adjusting to more cyclists on the road to being up to date on the rights of mobility scooter users, it’s important for the whole community to be prepared for small changes that can add up to a big difference. Just as the LTP aims to improve Warrington’s infrastructure over the next five years, so too local road users – whether on foot or four wheels – may need to adapt.
A wider road-using community
One of the central goals of the LTP is to increase the number of cyclists and walkers to account for 16.5% of the road-using population by 2041. This is particularly important in order to reduce car emissions and air pollution, but also to enable people to be more active and access businesses, schools and other amenities on foot. The LTP also aims to give better access to the visually impaired. With an increase in more vulnerable road users, drivers need to check mirrors and blind spots more frequently than ever and pay particular attention to speed restrictions; government data shows that 15% of fatal road accidents involve exceeding the speed limit. That said, as local authorities crack down on speeding, there may well be instances where tickets are incorrectly issued. If this happens, it’s best to seek legal advice: a speeding lawyer will check for procedural errors and will know what the proportionate consequences should be if the ticket was justified. Whether you’re challenging the ticket itself, or hoping to explain mitigating circumstances, it’s worth getting good legal advice.
Improved public transport
As part of its intention to reduce the number of cars on the road, the LTP aims to encourage the use of public transport by tripling the percentage of those who use the bus. With potentially more buses on the road, other users will need to be aware of the associated hazards. Allowances should be made for sudden stopping, exiting passengers, and the fact that bus drivers will have limited visibility of cyclists and pedestrians.
Becoming an active traveller
As noted above, the LTP is keen to help Warrington’s residents and visitors to become active travellers – not just for environmental reasons, but also to create healthier, fitter communities. In recent years, obesity levels across the UK have risen for both adults and children, and recently Warrington itself has seen an unwelcome increase in the number of obese or overweight children. If you have been inspired to find more active ways to travel for you and your family, it’s important to contribute to keeping roads safe. Cyclists should always wear a helmet and reflective clothing, as well as having working bike lights and brakes. Pedestrians should use crossings safely and avoid becoming distracted by mobile phones.
The Local Transport Plan sets out a vision for healthier, smoother travel within Warrington, but it will require help from all sides to make it truly successful and safe. Drivers will need to be more mindful of vulnerable road users, and the hazards that come with more buses on the road. Similarly, cyclists and pedestrians will need to take precautions to keep themselves visible and safe on the roads. If the vision is achieved, it will mean a brighter future for all.