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Modal Highway Consultants Ltd

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The Road Safety Audits Checklist

This article introduces the critical importance of having a checklist as set out by our road safety auditors that ensures all road safety issues are dealt with throughout the development scheme or other project.

Stage 1 of Modal road safety audits takes place after the preliminary design has been completed and ideally before the planning permission is granted. If it is a large project then it is also necessary to determine the amount of land required to meet all the safety requirements.

The auditor must check any elements of horizontal and vertical alignments in order to minimize any hazards caused by reduced sight-lines. This is particularly important where the scheme departs from normal standards. With regards to sight-lines consider all other obstructions that may be caused by such things as parapets, bridge abutments, structures and street furniture (eg. signs, bollards, seating, cycle parking).

Road Safety Audits for Junctions and Lay-bys

Junctions are places where delays often occur and where collisions tend to happen. Therefore, it is essential to review all conflict points at junctions (especially private access points) in order to minimize hazards. Check the visibility of the actual junction upon approach including sight-lines from minor roads and private access points. All things considered, it is important to control approach speed to the junction and review the layout of the approach roads. It is also good practice to consider any provision for turning traffic as well as location and access of lay-bys. With regards to lay-bys, it is important to remember the impact that parked vehicles may have on sight lines.

Road Safety Audits - Other considerations within the preliminary design:

a) The impact of landscaping
b) Perceptions of road users towards road markings and signage
c) Provision of safety aids on steep hill such as crawler lanes
d) Considerations on visibility regarding crests and bends
e) Provision of facilities for other highway users such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders
f) Potential for flooding due to inadequate drainage
g) Issues around lighting including positioning of lighting columns
h) Any maintenance arrangements (street cleansing, security, footways)
i) Impact on the safe use of adjacent land
j) Provisions for vulnerable users such as the elderly, disabled and children

It is often the case that with all the usual concerns about safety and capacity, the ‘sense of place’ is often forgotten about or poorly considered within the planning. It is important to remember that junctions (especially in urban areas) are places that people actually live around. Modal Road Safety Auditors believe it is critical to find a happy balance between the practicalities of enabling all users to be able to easily get around safely and the actual aesthetics of the place that make it a positive experience for all highway users.

Learn more about our Road Safety Audits services by calling our highway consultants on 015398 86015 and ask to speak to Helen.