Safer Roads Fund gains royal recognition22 Nov 2021

The RAC Foundation, the Road Safety Foundation and the Department for Transport have won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for their “fine example of collaboration” and the “outstanding achievement” of the Safer Roads Fund.

The £100 million Safer Roads Fund was established following a successful pathfinder programme delivered by Road Safety Foundation and commissioned and financially supported by the RAC Foundation and the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Safer Roads Fund programme focused on treating the 50 highest risk local A road sections in England with remedial road safety engineering interventions.  Together the Safer Roads Fund schemes are set to prevent around 1,450 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years.

The value of prevention for the schemes is £550 million compared with the whole life cost of treatments of £125 million.  The Benefit to Cost ratio for this portfolio of roads is estimated to be 4.4, meaning that for every £1 invested, £4.40 is returned in terms of societal benefit. This demonstrates how road safety interventions can compete favourably with other major transport projects.

In a letter to Dr Suzy Charman, Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent said:

“I was so pleased when the Westminster Government announced the Safer Roads Fund. The importance of sound investment at local level will provide many long-overdue improvements, not just in the 50 most dangerous stretches of ‘A’ roads in England, but elsewhere too. The innovative approach which the fund has triggered by bringing new methodologies to so many local authorities is indeed a step-change in practice and a huge stimulus to deploying a Safe Systems approaches by many roads authorities.”

Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation said:

“It was a pleasure to commission and financially support the Road Safety Foundation to embark on the Safer Roads Pathfinder Project, which quickly made the case for a larger scale Safer Roads Fund. The pathfinder and wider Department for Transport project together represent a significant step change in practice in supporting local authorities to apply a new proactive safe systems approach to risk management on exceptionally high-risk routes. The tools and guidance developed by this project will undoubtedly benefit countries beyond the UK. The scope and impact of this work has been deservedly recognised with this award.”

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:

“I am delighted our Safer Roads Fund has been recognised for its life saving work. It was designed to prevent thousands of tragedies on our roads, and the Department will continue to work tirelessly on this priority as we move forward.”

Dr Suzy Charman, Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation said:

“It is wonderful that the DfT’s investment in the Safer Roads Fund is recognised with this award and hope that the fund will be replicated both here in UK and overseas.  We share this award with the RAC Foundation whose initial support allowed us to undertake the pathfinder project that was a catalyst to the Safer Roads Fund, and of course we also share the award with our local authority partners who worked hard to design and implement their schemes.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

07711 776448 | [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at:

The awards recognise achievements and innovations which will improve road safety. Established by HRH Prince Michael of Kent in 1987 and organised by RoadSafe, each year the most outstanding examples of international road safety initiatives are given public recognition through the scheme.

The Road Safety Foundation is a UK charity, founded in 1986, that aims to help reduce road trauma through employing the Safe System philosophy by:

  • Identifying investment packages likely to give high returns and analysing the safety performance of roads over time.
  • Providing the approach, tools and training necessary to support road authorities in taking a proactive approach to road risk reduction.
  • Undertaking research to progress knowledge and policy.

Over the last 20 years, the charity has maintained a particular focus on safer road infrastructure through the establishment of the European Road Assessment Programme and the development of the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) and its protocols for measuring infrastructure safety. The RSF is responsible for supporting the Road Assessment Programme in the United Kingdom, and its work serves as a model of what can be achieved, with key research and innovation being replicated in RAP programmes across the world.