Accident Reductions Resulting from Village Traffic Calming
TAYLOR M and WHEELER A, Transport Research Laboratory, UK
In the early 1990s, TRL undertook the monitoring for a major UK study known as 'VISP' (Village Speed Reduction Study) on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) (Wheeler et al, 1994). The study was designed to establi
In the early 1990s, TRL undertook the monitoring for a major UK study known as 'VISP' (Village Speed Reduction Study) on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) (Wheeler et al, 1994). The study was designed to establish the effectiveness of a range of measures at reducing traffic speeds on main roads through villages and thereby improving the quality of life in these communities. 24 schemes were included, some with measures at the village entrances ('gateways'), some with measures within the village itself, and some with both. These treatments comprised largely of signing and enhanced road marking. A number of schemes resulted in quite considerable reductions in traffic speeds.
TRL was subsequently commissioned by DETR to monitor the broader application of speed-reducing measures to villages on more major roads - particularly trunk roads with a high proportion of heavy vehicles. More extensive measures were used in these situations - for example more prominent signing and marking measures, with some schemes incorporating physical measures. Wheeler and Taylor (1999) summarised the effects of the schemes on speeds, which were typically more substantial than those achieved from the VlSP schemes. This included a very preliminary review of the effects on accidents. More detailed reports for individual schemes were also published (Wheeler eta I, 1996; 1997; 1998).
Many UK villages have more of a perceived problem than a real safety problem. However, reductions in traffic speed can generally be expected to lead to reductions in accidents (Taylor et al, 2000) and it is important to know whether accident reductions have indeed been brought about. Because the number of injury accidents was often small in the villages studied it was not previously possible to establish whether the speed reductions which were achieved in most of them had generally been associated with changes in the accident frequency. In addition, whilst Taylor et al (2000) present figures giving the percentage change in injury accidents per mile/h reduction in mean traffic speed for urban and rural single-carriageway roads, these do not include village situations. This paper summarises a recent study undertaken by TRL for DETR to address both of these issues. It examines the impact on injury accidents of traffic calming measures in villages, in terms of
i) the observed changes in accident frequency
ii) their relationship with changes in vehicle speeds.
The results relating to i) have been reported in detail elsewhere (Wheeler and Taylor, 2000).
Association for European Transport