Road Sharing – A Restorative Approach

Road Sharing - A Restorative Approach

Bristol is well known for its clogged streets and air pollution problems, as cars, bikes, buses, taxis and lorries compete with each other on its narrow congested roads. Disabled road users and pedestrians have a hard time too. These issues can lead to a lot of conflict and ‘road rage’.

In the year 2015/2016 that Bristol is European Green Capital, the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner funded a project to bring road users together to discuss ways forward. It awarded £10,000 to Resolve West (formerly Bristol Mediation), the established independent local organisation which helps citizens resolve conflicts. Two part-time project workers were appointed who road-sharing-conflict-a-restorative-approach-pilotmade contact with different groups of road users, to listen to their views and concerns.

Through networking and linking they engaged a diverse range of people across the city and invited them to separate meetings, managed in a restorative way to enable people to come together and share their issues and concerns.  This meant that the focus was on expression of concerns, dialogue between the different groups of road users and finding constructive way forwards. Those who attended gained greater awareness and understanding of other road users’ perspectives and enabled people to work together and provide recommendations through a report which has now been presented to our partners within Bristol City Council/transport Teams.

The project was evaluated using questionnaires and filmed interviews of participants before and after the large meeting.