Motorbike safety funding boost

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National funding has been secured for research into road safety initiatives for motorcyclists in the North-east.

Road Safety North East Scotland (RSNES) and Robert Gordon University (RGU) have teamed up to win backing for a review of previous and current safety approaches, some dating back 20 years.

The research will look at both local authority and police-related initiatives, which include the use of bespoke motorcycle safety signage, Bikesafe, Operation Zenith and Rider Refinement North.

The financial support is part of Transport Scotland’s road safety evaluation fund, which launched last June.

Commenting on the funding award, Caroline Hood, lecturer in sociology at RGU, who is leading the project, said: “I’m delighted that the North-east has been successful in securing funding in the first round of applications for this new national fund.

“It is also a welcome development to our ongoing collaboration with RSNES and wider transportation-themed research.

“In 2019, we started some motorcycle road safety research, including an online road safety survey for motorcyclists which, most pleasingly, resulted in almost 450 responses.

“Our initial work attracted both national and international interest from road safety professionals and the funding grant will now allow our research to move forward, with more detailed engagement with motorcyclists being planned in the months ahead.”

The fund is open to a wide range of organisations with an involvement in road safety.

Ewan Wallace, head of transportation at Aberdeenshire Council and chair of RSNES, said: “With local authority and partner organisation budgets under ever-increasing pressure, the ability to access national funding such as the new fund is a very welcome development.

“The North-east has been an active participant in a variety of motorcycle-related road safety initiatives, both local and national, over many years and the opportunity to now review these in some detail is a very useful exercise.

“We also have to be mindful that at the end of 2020, new Scottish road casualty reduction targets will be set for the period until 2030.

“Any learning we can gain from this research will be timely as we start to consider our future priorities.

“Our partnership work with Robert Gordon University is an exciting new approach in local road safety activity.”