Road Safety campaign budgets cut by 80%

Cyclists get just 1/25th of the budget allocated to motorcyclists despite cycling deaths continuing to rise

THE GOVERNMENT has slashed road safety campaign budgets by 80% over the past five years according to data revealed in a freedom of information enquiry from the IAM.

In 2008/2009 the budget stood at £19m however in 2011/2012 that budget has been reduced by 80% to £4m.

For 2013, the DfT has a budget of £3.7m to spend on road safety campaigns and motorcycle-related campaigns feature heavily in the plan. This year's budget is broken down like so:

  • £1.685 million on drink-drive campaigns
  • £1.275 million on motorcycle campaigns
  • £78,000 on child and teenager road safety
  • £53,000 spent on cyclist safety
  • £50,000 on research into young drivers 

The figure attributed to a fatal road accident is £1.7m, however this is not the cost of 'cleaning up' the accident but, according to the IAM, 'includes loss of earnings, emergency services costs, clean up, loss and bereavement. It’s a notional cost spread over society as a whole.'

A provisional estimate for drink-driving-related accidents in 2011 shows 280 deaths, 1290 serious injuries and 9,990 total casualties. In 2012, 122 cyclists died on UK roads, up from 107 in 2011 - a five year high. In 2011, 362 motorcycle users (riders and pillions) were killed as a result of accidents, a 10% decrease compared to 2010.

IAM director of policy Neil Greig thinks spending should be increased: "Right across the public sector road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly, despite the huge returns on investment. If the government is serious about safety for these groups, these amounts must be increased."

Where should the £1.275 million allocated to motorcycle related road safety campaigns be spent?