The service will enhance the level of support available to these people, and make it easier to access the support they need following incidents which can often devastate lives.
Despite progress being made, last year 102 people were tragically killed and 3,859 seriously injured on London’s roads. The devastating consequences for the families, friends and communities impacted by these deaths and life-changing injuries is immense. The new service will help support people affected by the most serious collisions, those experiencing a bereavement or catastrophic injury, through:
- Caseworkers recruited by Brake, who can provide trauma-informed, emotional and practical support for each victim and their family, including help navigating the justice system, advocacy and help accessing specialise services if needed
- Longer-term aftercare support provided by RoadPeace, specialising in support from people with experience of the devastation caused by road traffic collisions, via dedicated London support groups, a telephone befriending service and an 8-week trauma support programme for families bereaved by road deaths
- Support will be available in person for those who need it, as well as over the phone and online
- Direct referral from the police into support services, which will mean that victims of the most serious traffic collisions will no longer be responsible for sourcing help and initiating contact themselves.
Working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and City of London Police (CoLP), the service will be launched as a pilot in the autumn and will be accessible through direct referral from the MPS’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit. Victims will be offered a referral into the service, and with their consent their details will be passed to Brake initially, and then to RoadPeace, taking the onus off them to source help and initiate contact.
The service will be staffed by dedicated, trained caseworkers, co-ordinators and volunteers, who will be able to use their training and experience to ensure that victims and others affected by incidents have access to high-quality support.
Over the one-year pilot period, TfL will evaluate how the pilot service is working. This will inform the future approach beyond the trial.
Lilli Matson, TfL’s Chief Safety Health and Environment Officer, said:
“Road traffic collisions, can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, which is why we’re determined to ensure people get the support they need. We’re proud to be working with RoadPeace, Brake, the police and MOPAC on our new victim support service, which will be staffed by trained, dedicated staff who can offer their expertise to help support people. We remain dedicated to our Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury on the transport network, which is an essential part of building a better London for everyone.”
Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, said:
"RoadPeace provides vital emotional support to people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes.
"Connecting with others who have survived a similar experience or loss provides a lifeline for many victims, and addressing the symptoms of traumatic grief can help people cope with day-to-day life following a crash.
“We are delighted to work with TfL and Brake and that this new pilot service will soon be available, offering increased peer-to-peer support for crash victims in London."
Ross Moorlock, Brake’s Interim chief executive, said:
“We are committed to ensuring that everyone in London has access to high quality, trauma-informed support should they be involved in or be seriously affected by a road traffic collision. By working in partnership with TfL and RoadPeace we hope that we can achieve this. Through our National Road Victim Service we see the devastating impact of a road crash can be on people, families and communities. Until we live in a world where road crashes are eliminated, sadly services like this need to be in place.”
TfL remains committed to eliminating all death and serious injury from the transport network as part of its Vision Zero goal. TfL is working in partnership with the boroughs, police and other stakeholders to directly tackle road danger and continues to work on a number of major programmes to make London's roads and the vehicles using them safer. TfL's world-first Direct Vision Standard, which reduces lethal blind spots on lorries, is already helping to save lives and prevent life-changing injuries. TfL has also continued to work on its Safer Junctions programme to make life-saving changes at some of the capital’s most dangerous and intimidating junctions. With the completion of work at York Road roundabout in Wandsworth earlier this month, TfL has so far completed work at 44 junctions across London as part of the programme.