Safe Travel on England’s Strategic Road Network – meeting the challenges of a Safe System approach

This presentation describes the nature and scale of the challenge faced by National Highways in its ambition to see a network free from harm, and looks at the additional challenges of adopting a Safe System approach to achieving that ambition.

The presentation discusses the benefits and challenges inherent in Safe System thinking and outlines the work undertaken by National Highways to help shape what a Safe System response looks like on its network.

The collaborative nature of Safe System thinking and delivery is also discussed, as is the role of a network provider and operator in a System in which responsibility for delivery is shared across multiple partners.

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Jeremy Phillips, Head of Road User Safety, National Highways

Jeremy has spent over 30 years working in road casualty reduction as a researcher, practitioner, operations manager, partnership manager and team leader. Before joining National Highways in September 2020 as head of road user safety he was also director of research for Road Safety GB (RSGB).

His role at National Highways within safety, engineering and standards includes providing strategic focus for achieving their ambitious zero harm vision through a Safe System approach - and providing group management across commercial vehicle incident prevention, strategy and performance (including IRAP network performance), safer people and suicide prevention.

He has led teams delivering projects and programmes of work in behaviour change; road safety audit; casualty and severity reduction capital projects; collision investigation; data analysis and research. He has also chaired the management board of a regional safety camera partnership for several years and has established and chaired various self-development and professional support initiatives – including a regional forum for collision investigators, a road safety professional development academy for front line practitioners and partner agencies, and he was instrumental in creating information hub that is now the RSGB Knowledge Centre.

Jeremy has been a long-standing advocate of evidence based practice and developing the role of analysts working in road safety – including establishing a national network of analyst champions and CPD conferences as part of his research role with RSGB.

He currently supports several projects at governance board or stakeholder panel level – including the National Roads Policing Review; the Road Collision Investigation Project and Driver 2020 initiative amongst others. He is also chair of the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR) Working Group on Road Safety.