Doncaster Voices: Doncaster danger roads: how to make them safer?

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Welcome to Doncaster Voices, your weekly debate forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words with name, title and photo to chris.page@jpress.co.uk and your views could appear next week, when subject is . . . “What more can be done for Doncaster’s youth?”

Steve Bennett, TLS Director & Doncaster Chamber Member

A lot of people think that safety on the roads is all about reducing volume and speed. I disagree, it’s all about awareness and education. There are far too many people on the roads and footpaths today that have forgotten how to drive or act safely. We live in a world of convenience; the easier things can be done the better. People are taking this to the roads and footpaths thinking there are no consequences. Accident zones need identifying to stop people having a false sense of security. We need to combat the “it’ll never happen to me” attitude. Unfortunately, statistics are showing it could happen to any of us. I believe that hot spots need to be identified and signed appropriately. Speed reduction is always a consideration, but investment needs to be put into information and education on Doncaster’s Roads and footpaths.

Mark Payling, Doncaster East Local Police Team Neighbourhood Inspector

Introduction of Tour de Yorkshire has seen an increase in number of cyclists on many of the roads across Doncaster. SYP are encouraging motorists to ensure their safety with the launch of Safe Pass Initiative. The scheme sees some of our PCSOs on routine bicycle patrol with helmet-mounted equipment, which will record any incidents where motorists drive past them too closely. The registered keeper will then be subject to a follow-up investigation. Last month officers from Sheffield supported Sheffield City Centre Cycle Ride with Cycle Sheffield, where a ‘safe pass’ mat was used to raise awareness with motorists about safe passing distances. The initiative is intended to make a positive difference to the experience of cyclists on our roads, with ultimate aim of raising awareness and improving road safety.

Joanne Wehrle, Safer Roads Manager, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership

South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership provides funding to address road safety issues, delivering focussed activity to groups of road users over represented in casualty statistics. In Doncaster, and across the county, young car users are a high priority. As a result, we offer range of sessions and practical training to help them gain skills to stay safe on the roads. Working in conjunction with The Blake Cairns Foundation, the partnership is able to offer additional FREE post-test training sessions for young drivers, worth £75. It is hoped in the near future subsidised training places for young motorcycle riders will also be available from SYSRP. For more information about interventions to address young drivers and riders’ safety, and general issues relating to safety, visit www.sysrp.co.uk website.

Bill Morrison, Chair of Trustees at East Doncaster Development Trust

Making our roads safer will not be easy but we could start with a major repair and maintenance programme. Cracks and potholes abound in Doncaster. Sensible speed limits will help, but only if policed by man or camera or both. A good example of ill-thought limits is between Tesco Edenthorpe and Westminster Drive, Dunsville. You go from 40 to 50 and back to 40mph. It is a race track that has seen death and destruction on more than one occasion. Parking around schools is another issue. Where possible, create car parks on little used school fields – preferable to the game of chicken played out on a daily basis as parent and child dodge between parked cars. And, perhaps, 10mph over the limit brings an automatic 12-month ban to drive the message home to speeding drivers. Yes, Mr Law-maker, you know it makes sense!

Coun Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene

“The Council works closely with its South Yorkshire Safer Roads partners to provide a comprehensive approach to improving road safety.

“There is much we can do to create conditions for safer travel. This includes changing the road environment with improved junctions or signing and educational measures to raise risk awareness and offer practical training. We also use publicity to help shape and improve the behaviour and attitudes of road users. Close collaboration with the police ensures a coordinated approach to enforcement.

“However, we all have responsibilities on the road. Human error continues to be a significant factor in many accidents and we must ensure our children, in particular, fully understand the potential dangers. All road users can help to improve road safety so the next time you are out, be it on foot, cycle, motorcycle or car, please take a moment to consider the risks and don’t take any chances.”

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