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Evaluating local road safety issues

Localised research assessing the relative merits of three proposed modifications to traffic management and associated safety

Key benefits:

  • Progress with planning of chosen development
  • Required measures identified to improve road safety

Our Assigment

Following strong public opinion regarding the provision of a road safety scheme in the Wolviston Road area of Billingham, including two public consultation exercises conducted in the two years prior to the study, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council commissioned research to ascertain reaction concerning three proposed modifications to the road layout. Local views were unwavering due to several accidents occurring in the vicinity of the adjacent shopping parade, and a combination of these incidents, together with the lack of pedestrian facilities and high vehicle speeds, prompted the local Council into actively responding to the growing number of worried residents.

Results

A total of 357 in-home interviews were conducted in the local area, with interviewers operating within a pre-defined catchment - no more than 800 metres from the site on Wolviston Road. Completion of these, and the resulting analysis, enabled the Council to assess both the usage of the road in question and also public attitudes towards the three outlined propositions.
As a result of the public consultation, the Council were able to decipher local opinion of the three options, which were namely: Option 1 - do not make any changes to Wolviston Road (favoured by 23% of the sample); Option 2 - make only minimal changes with a pelican crossing and local road narrowings (30%); and Option 3 - single lane dualling in each direction, with a pelican crossing and a reduction of the speed limit to 30 mph (41%). As a result of this data, the Client was able to press ahead with the latter option.

Benefits

Following the study, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council were able to progress with the planning of the chosen development and fully implement the necessary changes. The conducted research clearly illustrated that the majority of residents felt changes in some form were necessary to the existing road layout, and using this information, put in place measures which subsequently improved the safety of pedestrians crossing Wolviston Road, as well as enhancing the safety of road users.

Our Approach

The research focused upon the design of a short, concise questionnaire, conducted amongst local residents face-to-face and within their own homes. The content aimed to gauge public awareness of road safety schemes in the area, and gradually emphasise the three potential developments and record local views on each proposal. Interviews targeted households within an 800-metre radius of the Wolviston Road location, providing the Council with views of residents likely to be affected by the proposed changes.

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NEMS Market Research Limited. Company registered in England no. 393 8078 Telephone: 01642 373355 Email: advice@nemsmr.co.uk