Its remit is to reduce road accidents and casualties and to work to the government's targets which are managed by the council’s local transport plan and road safety strategy. As well as regular meetings, the forum stages public events and road safety enforcement activities which serve to keep the message in the public mind.
Transport planners in the borough are also worried about the numbers of children and elderly people who are seriously injured or killed on the roads, both of which have shown small but significant increases in recent years.
The council has responded to these figures and to tough new accident reduction targets that have been set by the government by launching the borough’s Road Safety Forum, with regular meetings at Wigan Town Hall.
Forum members include councillors, traffic engineers, groups representing bikers and cyclists, members of the Wigan Access Committee, the emergency services and townships groups.
Mark Tilley, head of highways and infrastructure, chairs the forum. He told the press:
“Road safety, and especially the needs of our most vulnerable road users, can only be served by a strong partnership.
“That’s why experts in health, traffic, driving, cycling and a number of other crucial areas need to work together to ensure a clear message and a clear strategy emerges.”
Recent meetings have led to a series of major events, include a mobile phone and seatbelt enforcement event and two "mock crashes", where the emergency services recover victims, played by students, from smashed vehicles in simulations of real road traffic accidents (see picture, right).
“This is not a talking shop,” added Mr Tilley. “We have to make our roads safer, so our aim must be fewer injuries and accidents on our roads.”