Graham Hurdle's blog: 26 October 2010 - A stitch in time saves nine
26 October 2010
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
This week we have all been talking about the four-letter word - Cuts, cuts and more cuts! Have you ever heard the expression, 'A stitch in time saves nine'? Let's discuss..
There will be no specific grant to support road safety delivery and enforcement, including camera enforcement at a local level. The DfT will be reducing the resources allocated to road safety research and marketing, distributing more of the available money for use in local initiatives and targeting road users representing the highest risks to others, and for whom a marketing approach is proven to be effective. The THINK! budget will be reduced by £12m by 2014/15.
I am sure there will be thousands of comments from road safety practitioners, all doom and gloom, about how the number of fatalities will rise and they may be correct. However, it is not just the fact there will be no grant to support road safety that will impact on casualty figures, the cuts in other areas will also make their impact. For example, road maintenance: the average annual spend on maintenance in the four year spending review period to 2014/15 will now be £714m, compared to spending of £748m in 2010/11.
It is all very well having cuts, we all know the government had to make tough decisions but have they really thought through all these cuts? The road deaths have certainly come down over the years and this hasn't been just because of money spent on road safety projects, such as the THINK campaign. Better design of roads and new roads such as dual carriageways that by-pass towns, have helped to reduce the statistics. Other areas that have had an impact are better vehicle design and even tyre improvements.
The question now is as money gets tight for all of us and especially the 500,000-plus unemployed public sector workers, will we as individuals maintain our vehicles? If you are put in the position of either replacing worn out tyres on your vehicle or paying the electricity bill, which would you do? We could end up with roads unrepaired, with drivers driving vehicles in an un-roadworthy condition with even fewer police, policing the roads.
Let's just hope that companies don't follow the government and cut their driver training budgets, because not only will that see a rise in at work road deaths and injuries, but will also see their profits reduce as the vehicle maintenance and insurance costs rise. A cut to company eco driver training could impact on the fuel efficiency, at a time when the so called 'motorist friendly government', has just added 1p tax on fuel and is going to increase it again next year.
A final thought - The money wasted in the Public sector is the private sectors profit, so how will the private sector create the jobs for the unemployed public sector 500,000 and in times of hardship? Safety unfortunately will not be a priority.
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