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Making roads safer is at the heart of change - Transport Minister speaks at the ADEPT conference

Transport Minister Jesse Norman was the Keynote Speaker at the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport’s (ADEPT) 2018 Conference in Manchester today.

The Minister spoke about today’s announcement from the Department for Transport of a new Two Year Action Plan to tackle road safety for vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians, and protecting ‘active travel’.

Speaking at the conference, the Minister said that creating roads was not just about investment. Streetscape had to be reconfigured to work effectively, with more people benefitting from active forms of transport, improving both health and the environment.

He described how a change of mindset was needed and how a wide range of potential innovations to increase cycling and walking could be adopted.

With 10,000 pedestrians and cyclists killed or injured on our roads last year, road safety, Mr Norman said, had to be at the heart of change, with local authorities and partnerships working together with Government.

Included in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) safety review are measures to: encourage ‘local councils to invest around 15 per cent of their local transport infrastructure funding over time on safe and efficient cycling and walking infrastructure; investing £100,000 to support the police to improve enforcement by developing a national back office function to handle footage provided through dash-cam evidence; and Enforcement against parking in mandatory cycle lanes.’

The theme of this year’s conference - Shaping Places for Thriving Communities - has seen speakers on the first day drawn from across the place-based sector, including the Department of Exiting the European Union (DExEU), Homes England, Ringway, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Berkeley Group.

Discussion has included reinventing partnership post Brexit, the need to deliver quality places as well as affordable housing and how good, sustainable planning can be achieved through placing people front and centre.

Celebrating the Year of the Engineer, Nathan Baker, from the Institution of Civil Engineers reminded the conference of the recent UN report on Climate Change and celebrated all engineers in their work on resilience, adaptation and the environment.

Welcoming delegates, ADEPT President Neil Gibson said: “Clearly, we are in a period of monumental change, with many of us facing unprecedented pressures on our budgets, resources and people.

“Our conference this year, with its focus on shaping places, highlights both the challenges we face and the creative ways in which we respond, piloting innovation and building new partnerships. One of the best things about ADEPT members is their willingness to embrace change, and in an uncertain landscape, this has never served us so well.”

Speakers on Day Two are drawn from Local Enterpriese Partnerships the Department for Transport and HS2.

Follow the conference on twitter: @ADEPTLA #placeshapers.

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