England & Wales, Scotland Transport and infrastructure

Road Safety Trust: 2020 grant programme

The Road Safety Trust have launched their 2020 grant programme and organisations, including local authorities, can bid for money for their projects. CEO Sally Lines outlines the theme for the 2020 programme.

Road Safety Trust: 2020 grant programme
Sally Lines, CEO of the Road Safety Trust / Image:RST

The Road Safety Trust is the largest independent road safety grant-giving Trust in the UK and funds vital research and practical interventions committed to reducing the number of people killed or injured on UK roads.

Through our charitable grant programmes, we are working towards our vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on UK roads. We want to make the roads safer for all users.

The UK is currently ranked fourth, with Norway acknowledged as having the world’s safest roads. But this relatively high ranking does not tell the whole story – for vulnerable road users in particular, such as pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists, the UK could be doing much better. In 2017, for example, there were 1,793 reported fatalities on UK roads, according to the Department for Transport.

Each year Road Safety Trust offers two rounds of funding – our major grants round, which is open this year for applications between 14th February and 14 May, and our smaller grants programme in the autumn, which aims to improve road safety at a local level.

Public and private organisations, local councils, registered charities and not for profits are all eligible to apply for one of our grants. Since 2014, we have awarded grants worth £2.7m to 35 different projects, ranging from developing mobile apps to help teach school children about road safety to funding new pedestrian areas and new research into extricating casualties from vehicles following road accidents.

Our major grants programme focuses on a different theme each year. In 2018 we hosted an online consultation to ensure that our themes were relevant to the sector, and would also help us achieve our mission of making the UK’s roads the safest in the world.

164 participants engaged with the online consultation, including local authorities, police forces, fire & rescue services, grantees, police and crime commissioners and Safer Roads Partnerships, plus other organisations and individuals working in and/or with an interest in road safety.

We asked participants to rate by importance 12 themes we considered to be gaps in research, work or knowledge. Nearly 40% of respondents rated ‘How can technology be used to reduce road offending and promote safe driving?’ as ‘crucial’ so it was quickly selected as our theme for 2020.

We all know that developing and emerging technologies will have an impact on the way that we live. We would like to see a focus on the innovation that is happening throughout the UK and help fund in-vehicle, infrastructure or new technological applications or tools. We are also looking for funding applications that address a specific road safety problem and explain why it has been identified.

If you are a UK-based organisation, public or professional association, registered charity, or university department working on practical measures, research, dissemination and education around the role of technology and innovation on our roads, we would love to hear from you.

Our grants are available for up to two or three years and can range from £10,000 up to £200,000, depending on the programme. Eligible projects might include evidence reviews, trials, roll-outs, evaluations and support for the profession through guidance or other resources.

For more information on how to apply visit the Road Safety Trust website.

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