26 July 2017
Labour control in Liverpool City Council means that Council motions from the opposition parties are restricted: just one motion in each seven-week cycle shared between three opposition parties.
It wasn't the Greens' turn to write the opposition motion for the July Council meeting, but instead the Green councillors were seeking cross-party agreement on the important road safety campaign called “Vision Zero”.
In that way Liverpool City Council would sign up to a shared principle without having to debate something that all councillors should support anyway.
The Green councillors hoped everybody would be able to get behind “Vision Zero”, but this time Labour said no.
The Green Party will be looking for other ways to persuade the Council to think again and catch up with other local authorities across the world who have all recognised that no loss of life on our roads is acceptable.
The motion said
Council applauds the efforts of campaigns such as Vision Zero and Tyred and charities such as RoadPeace, to make road safety a high priority in towns and cities around the world.
The Vision Zero campaign is based on the belief that zero is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries in the road traffic environment. It takes account of the fact that drivers make mistakes that can end in tragedy and so places the onus of avoiding such tragedies on all those responsible for the total road traffic system at national and local level: through highways engineering works, lowering and enforcing speed limits, driver education, reallocating more national transport spending towards safer walking and cycling provision and prioritising these in local planning and development processes.
Council notes that despite investment in highways in recent years, the number of deaths and serious injuries due to traffic incidents remains stubbornly high, and that since 2010 Merseyside has witnessed a 12% increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured on its roads. (1).
Further, it is widely recognised that working alone, a local authority cannot achieve the desired outcome of zero deaths and serious injuries on its highway network and that joint working among many agencies is necessary to tackle the issues that lead to collisions.
Council therefore welcomes the action by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside to add a fifth item to her list of priorities, namely to "work in partnership to improve road safety".
Council also notes that the Mayor for the Liverpool City Region has transport, planning and investment within his portfolio and is in an ideal position to drive forward the aims of the Vision Zero campaign across the region.
Liverpool prides itself for having been a trailblazer for public health for centuries. As a modern, forward-thinking city we are keen to implement sustainable solutions to health problems facing a growing city, including the increased risk of collision between motor vehicles and pedestrians that comes with increasing population and visitor numbers and in addition, the issue of poor air quality: these issues can be substantially addressed through the implementation of Vision Zero.
Liverpool should stand as a beacon with other major cities in the UK such as Manchester and London, Edinburgh and Bristol, and cities and countries around the world including Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, New York, Boston, Toronto and others in embracing this aim.
Council therefore requests the Chief Executive to write to the City Region Mayor and the Police and Crime Commissioner with the aim of co-ordinating efforts to implement policy changes supported by the Vision Zero campaign and other road safety campaign organisations. Council commits to assist in those aims by continuing to work in close partnership with all relevant agencies to reduce the number of killed and seriously injured on the city’s roads.