Transaid has begun key research to enhance understanding of safe motorcycle and three-wheeler use as a means of rural transport in four African countries – Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The project is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) as part of the Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP), and is being delivered in partnership with road safety NGO Amend and the Transport Research Laboratory. The initiative’s aim is to improve affordable and safe access for people using motorcycles, motorcycle taxis and three-wheelers.

Our Road Safety Project Manager, Neil Rettie, is the project’s Safety Specialist. He provides support to the project’s four National Experts, one from each of the targeted four countries.

Neil says: “The use of motorcycles and three-wheelers has increased significantly, and they are now one of the most utilised vehicles on rural roads across these four countries. However, this means of transport largely operates informally and therefore strategies to address safety are still relatively underdeveloped, particularly on low-volume roads in rural areas.

“There is a pressing need to establish affordable and appropriate procedures to allow local communities to benefit from safe motorcycle and three-wheeler use. This project aims to develop realistic recommendations and potential solutions which will be beneficial to people who rely on these forms of transport.”

Tom Bishop, Deputy Director of Amend and the project’s Team Leader, says: “We recognise the vital service that motorcycles, and three-wheelers provide in rural areas. Blanket bans are not the answer, but in order to reduce the risk of road crashes involving these vehicles, a strong framework which takes into account accessibility and safety is necessary.”

The project is due to continue until January 2019, at which point the findings from the research will be shared through media outlets, the goal being that many of the recommendations be implemented by the government bodies in the four countries.