Road Safety Audit - UK

TTRSA's qualified Road Safety Auditors have considerable UK experience and work as an Audit Team to deliver Road Safety Audits (RSA) to the Highways Agency Road Safety Audit Standard HD19/03, and where appropriate prevailing local highway or roads authority standards. We undertake RSA for all types of highway scheme anywhere within the country, including:

  • New highway schemes;
  • Highway improvements and other related schemes involving changes to the highway;
  • Development led schemes as part of planning applications;
  • Modifications to junctions and site accesses;
  • Traffic management measures and temporary traffic management schemes;
  • Remedial safety schemes;
  • Pedestrian and cycling crossing facilities;
  • Bus priority measures; and,
  • Urban design led streetscape improvements.

At TTRSA, we understand that many people are unfamiliar with RSAs, so have outlined the main elements of the process and requirements below.

The Road Safety Audit Standard

In the United Kingdom (UK), HD19/03 requires a RSA of all highway improvement schemes on the trunk road and motorway network, including highway improvement schemes that are constructed as part of maintenance works. Many local highway and road authorities also apply this standard to the local road network within their areas. A RSA only considers road safety matters and is not a design check. HD19/03 identifies 4 distinct stages of RSA whilst also providing the opportunity for Interim RSA. In the UK, audits over 5 years old need to be repeated if a scheme does not progress to the next stage.

Stages of Road Safety Audit
  • A Stage 1 RSA is undertaken at the completion of preliminary design stage of the scheme. For development led schemes, this is often prior to the submission of, and in support of, a planning application, whilst for highway authority led major schemes it is before the publication of draft orders. A Stage 1 RSA involves undertaking an assessment of the outline design including a site visit by all members of the audit team. Particular areas considered within a Stage 1 RSA, include road safety issues that may have an impact on required land-take and tie-in to the existing highway.
  • A Stage 2 RSA is undertaken at the completion of the detailed design stage of the scheme and involves undertaking an assessment of the design detail and proposed operation of the scheme including elements such as drainage, street lighting, and road signage and road marking provision, and junction operation (for example the operation of signalised junction). A site visit is undertaken by all Audit Team members and any issues not deemed to have been satisfactorily resolved in a Stage 1 RSA are also reviewed. Stage 1 and Stage 2 RSA may be combined as a Stage 1/2 RSA. Any elements of a scheme which are redesigned during the construction period must be resubmitted for a Stage 2 RSA prior to construction.
  • A Stage 3 RSA is undertaken at the construction stage, usually at the point of substantial completion and before the scheme is open to traffic. A Stage 3 RSA involves an assessment of the physical construction for road user safety. A Stage 3 RSA involves a site visit during both daylight and the hours of darkness. The Audit Team also invites a Traffic Management Officer from the local police force and representative of the body maintaining the completed scheme to the site visit to input their respective views. Following the site visit, discussions are held between the Audit Team and Project Sponsor to ensure that there is an opportunity to make the necessary modifications prior to the scheme opening.
  • A Stage 4 RSA is focused on monitoring the road safety impacts of a scheme based on accident data for the first 12 and 36 months after opening. In particular a Stage 4 RSA identifies locations where accidents resulting in injury have occurred and accidents that appear to have similar causal factors or causal chains. For improvement schemes on the existing highway network, a comparison of before and after data is also undertaken.
  • An Interim RSA is undertaken at any stage of preliminary or detailed design and is particularly useful for schemes with early contractor involvement where it can lead to savings in programme and design related costs. The undertaking of an interim RSA is strictly controlled through the Project Sponsor (scheme client) to maintain Audit Team independence, although it does provide an opportunity for the Design Team and Audit Team to meet if necessary with the Project Sponsor chairing the meeting. The undertaking of interim RSA does not reduce the requirement for completion of other stages of RSA.
The Road Safety Audit Brief

To undertake any stage of RSA, the audit team needs to be provided with an Audit Brief by the Project Sponsor, containing sufficient information on both the design and on the background information for the road scheme. HD19/03 states that, as appropriate, this should include:

  • Scheme drawings showing the full extend of the scheme and areas beyond the tie-in points;
  • Details of approved Departures and Relaxations from Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) standards;
  • General scheme details including how the scheme is intended to operate, desire line, traffic and non-motorised user data;
  • Relevant factors for road safety including the proximity of proposed development, nearby schools and nursing homes, and access for emergency vehicles;
  • Accident data for the previous 3 years;
  • With the exception of at Stage 1, previous Audit and Exception Reports for the scheme, and details of any changes made to the scheme since the previous audit;
  • Plans for the Audit Team to mark-up, suitable for inclusion in the Audit Report;Contact details for the person who any maintenance defects should be notified to; and,
  • Contact details for an appropriate contact in the local police force.
The Road Safety Audit Report

At each stage of RSA, the Audit Team produces an Audit Report. For stage 1, 2, 3 and interim RSA, this follows a standard format, including:

  • A description of the scheme being audited;
  • Membership of the Audit Team and others contributing;
  • Details of the Audit Site Visit;Details of identified road safety problems with background reasoning;
  • Recommendations to mitigate or remove the problems;
  • A marked up location map and photographs of the identified problems;
  • A statement signed by the Audit Team Leader certifying that the Audit has been carried out to the HD19/03 Standard; and,
  • A list of drawings and other information examined by the Audit Team.
Completion of the Road Safety Audit

Following the production of a draft Audit Report, the Audit Team sends the report directly to the Project Sponsor, any amendments being agreed between the Audit Team Leader and the Project Sponsor before formal submission. If following discussion, the Project Sponsor feels that a problem raised within the Audit Report is insignificant, outside the terms of reference, or that the solutions are not suitable they may prepare an Exception Report for submission to the Director with whom the final decision rests. It is then for the Director to decide whether to approve the Exception Report. The Project Sponsor then provides copies of the approved Exception Reports to the Audit Team and Design Team.

How can TTRSA help me?

We are always happy to discuss your requirements and to provide competitive quotations for Road Safety Audits. Contact us by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .