Vision Zero plan to end road deaths in Kent to be launched at Manston airport

The VISION ZERO launch will focus on van safety

A project aimed at eliminating deaths on Kent’s roads by 2050  will be launched by Kent County Council at a press event at Manston airfield on Wednesday September 15.

The VISION ZERO launch will focus on van safety, as studies by Thatcham Research, a national road safety group, show people injured in cars are 40% more likely to be killed or seriously injured when involved in a head-on incident with a van compared to another car.

The strategy will outline how responsibility for safety on our roads will be shared by everyone from policy makers to engineers to vehicle manufacturers and the media. It reminds road users that they need to follow the rules to make sure they are as safe as possible.

Kent statistics show vehicles weighing under 3.5 tonnes were involved in 2,156 incidents in the five years to the end of 2020, causing 3,174 injuries including 36 deaths. As Kent is on the frontline for freight, due to its proximity to Europe, KCC is aware of the need to act on the issue of van safety.

KCC Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport, David Brazier, said: “On average there are over 45 deaths on our roads each year. When we remember every fatality is a human being, a mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter, it is clear we must do more to make Kent the safest place to be on or near the road.

“Over the coming years we want to work very closely with logistics companies that run commercial fleets of vehicles in Kent to support them using the safest vehicles fitted with the latest life-saving technology.

“Vision Zero is a hugely ambitious target, but we have to be ambitious when it comes to human lives being lost on our roads. The vision acknowledges people make mistakes and sets out our aim to ensure these mistakes do not cause a death or a life-changing injury.

“This is about a recognition that deaths on the road are not acceptable, and that Kent County Council is supporting communities to make safe sustainable choices.

“We will adopt measures to ensure the number and severity of crashes on the county’s roads are reduced.”

Ramsgate County Councillor Karen Constantine, who is the joint Labour lead on the Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, says she welcomes the ambitious proposal.

She says she wants both Kent County Council and the Government to go further and faster with life saving measures, adding: “Many local residents have frequently reported concerns me in the past five years of areas and pinch points, often associated often near schools, that require attention to prevent accidents.

“Many residents quite rightly point out the places that are ‘accidents waiting to happen’. For any family that has lost a loved one in a road traffic accident this significant ambition in road deaths can’t come soon enough.

“It makes sense to makes sense to me to apply 20 mph zones near every school and not to wait for fatalities to occur before dealing with well-known blackspots. Ramsgate also needs roads remodelled and more zebra style crossings.”

Karen lost her 19-year-old son in a road traffic accident in 2001 and is an ardent supporter of measures to reduce death on the roads.

Guests at the launch will include Prince Michael of Kent; David Brazier, KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport; representatives from Highways England, Thatcham Research, Kent Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, DVSA and Kent Fire & Rescue Service.

There will also be representatives from the national freight transport association – Logistics UK, Executive Director of Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety and representatives from National Project EDWARD (every day without a road death).

VISION ZERO will follow a five-pronged approach, featuring Safe Roads and Streets, Safe Speed, Safe behaviour, Safe Vehicles and Post Collision Response.

Read the Vision Zero strategy here


  1. A lot of 3.5 ton vehicles / van drivers are working 80 / 90 hours per week I’m not surprised they are involved in a lot of accidents. There is no restriction on the hours they can work, unlike the HGV drivers who

  2. Yep as above, see so many european registered vehicles on out motorways.Often they not in full control of their vehicle.

    They have fewerlegal restrictions, they have no adequet sleeping accomodation or any welfare faciality.

    They are the slobs who are paid by the kilometer they pee into water bottles, sling them out their window and shat in out lay bys.

    Something needs to be done, kind of now. Keep manston ready for its intended use.


    • I expect if Thanet’s population had enthusiastically flown from it in vast numbers, it would still be open.
      But they didn’t, so it closed.
      And until Tony Freudmann gets round to acknowledging the real reason he bought it, the site might as well be used to park lorries.
      Not that we have any, thanks to Brexit.

  3. The ex-airfield’s intended use should not be aviation. It should become a mixed-use development with housing and industry ,as in SHP’s proposals.

  4. The number of road deaths will only begin to fall when the number of motor vehicles begins to fall.
    Vehicles run red (and amber) lights, park on crossing zigzag, overtake on crossings, drive too fast and too close, use mobile phones, park on (the very few) dropped curbs, drive and park on the pavement, exceed the speed limit, drive in pedestrian zones, ….
    A small step in the right direction will be the introduction of the new Highway Code, which puts the most vulnerable road users (pedestrians) at the top of the priority list.

  5. Their will be a seismic shift in drivers pay over the next few months. To attract more drivers the hourly rate may double causing rising prices. Add to that the increased tax for social care and everything bought in Britain being more expensive we may have to rejoin the EU to survive !!

    • All you had to do was fly from Manston when it was open. But far, far too few of Thanet’s travellers chose to. Instead they either didn’t fly very much at all, or would rather go to a proper airport instead.
      As a consequence, it was losing £10,000 every day. It was inevitable that it would close.

  6. There should be a huge reduction in aviation as in car usage, as the world is now on the brink of disastrous climate change.

  7. Good to see the ex airport being used for something useful at last. On a more serious note the killed and seriously injured stats for light goods vehicles are not good. I find it absurd that vehicles are still produced that are not speed limited. We have regulations that lathes etc must have guards to stop employees injuring themselves yet we allow bosses to allow access to vehicles that can easily exceed the speed limit. I would add that very few know the correct speed limits for 2.8 tonne vehicles.

  8. Could we not just deal with problems associated with roads by first getting all the illegal drivers off the road,
    Those that have never passed a test or are disqualified
    The uninsured vehicles
    The untaxed vehicles
    Those without an MOT
    Then deal with the menace of use of phones on the road wether used for voice calls, texting, internet access etc

    I’d wager that you’d take 10% of vehicles off the road , a much higher proportion of the irresponsible /dangerous road user. Reduce traffic and pollution (those driving illegally are unlikely to have well maintained clean vehicles) and numbers of accidents.
    Why do we need to find new ideas when we don’t bother to enforce the current restrictions?

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