National Funding for North East Road Safety Research

A collaboration between Road Safety North East Scotland (RSNES) and Robert Gordon University (RGU) has successfully gained funding for research into motorcycle-specific road safety initiatives.

The joint bid - ‘Motorcycle Safety Strategies in North East Scotland’ - will review a range of previous and current motorcycle-related road safety approaches, some dating back as far as 20 years. 

The research will look at both local authority and police-related initiatives, examples of which include the use of bespoke motorcycle safety signage, Bikesafe, Operation Zenith and Rider Refinement North.
The funding is part of Transport Scotland’s (TS) Road Safety Evaluation Fund which launched in June 2019.

The objective is to create a robust, independent and open evidence base to help TS demonstrate it is delivering on the key priority focus areas identified by the Scotland Road Safety Framework mid-term review, by providing evidence of the effectiveness and impact of road safety interventions in Scotland.

The fund is open to a wide range of organisations with an involvement in road safety and focuses on providing financial support to conduct retrospective evaluation of road safety initiatives.

Commenting on the funding award, Caroline Hood, Lecturer in Sociology and project lead at RGU, said: “I’m delighted that the North-east has been successful in securing funding in the first round of applications for this new national fund.

“This aligns with the overarching aims of the university to contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of the region, using demand-led research to transform people and communities. It is also a welcome development to our ongoing collaboration with RSNES and wider transportation themed research

“In 2019, we started some motorcycle road safety research, including an online road safety survey for motorcyclists which, most pleasingly, resulted in almost 450 responses.

“Our initial work attracted both national and international interest from road safety professionals and the funding grant will now allow our research to move forward, with more detailed engagement with motorcyclists being planned in the months ahead.

Ewan Wallace, Head of Transportation at Aberdeenshire Council and Chair of RSNES, added: “With local authority and partner organisation budgets under ever increasing pressure, the ability to access national funding such as the new Road Safety Evaluation Fund is a very welcome development. 

“The North-east has been an active participant in a variety of motorcycle-related road safety initiatives, both local and national, over many years and the opportunity to now review these in some detail is a very useful exercise.

“We also have to be mindful that at the end of 2020, new Scottish road casualty reduction targets will be set for the period until 2030, so any learning we can gain from this research will be timely as we start to consider our future priorities.   

“Our partnership work with Robert Gordon University is an exciting new approach in local road safety activity and I look forward to our relationship developing, with the hope that it can benefit wider road safety approaches.”
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Road Safety North East Scotland is a partnership consisting of Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Moray Council, NESTRANS, NHS Grampian, North Safety Camera Unit, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who seek to promote road safety and road casualty reduction across the North East of Scotland. 

These organisations work together with the strategic vision of ‘a future where no one is killed on North East roads and the injury rate is much reduced.