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Road casualty rates 'vary in UK'

Published 25/05/2015

The reduction in people killed or seriously injured is much lower in Wales than the national average, figures show
The reduction in people killed or seriously injured is much lower in Wales than the national average, figures show

Progress in cutting road casualty rates has varied dramatically across the UK, according to an analysis of accident figures.

The reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSIs) is much higher in London than the national average and much lower in Wales.

On the basis of KSIs, roads in Northern Ireland and Scotland are far safer than those in England.

The analysis came in a report published by the RAC Foundation and the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety.

The report showed the reduction between 2010 and 2013 in the number of KSIs compared with the average KSI figure for the period 2005 to 2009.

Regionally, the reduction rates were:

:: London - 36%;

:: Northern Ireland - 35%;

:: Scotland - 33%;

:: UK average - 23%;

:: England (excluding London) - 19%;

:: Wales - 15%.

The report said the figures hid a recent flattening out of the overall downward trend with the most dramatic casualty reduction in this period being seen in 2010.

While car occupant safety has improved markedly, the situation among vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists) has been less good, the report said.

Although deaths in this group have declined they are now a larger proportion of all road deaths, rising from 46% in 2005-09 to 49% in 2013. The absolute number of cyclists seriously injured has risen.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "The UK risks breaking apart in terms of road safety policy with different administrations having varying levels of power, funding and political will to deal with death and injury on the highways.

"Overall, many fewer people were killed and injured on the roads at the end of the last Westminster Parliament than at the beginning.

"But given the flattening out of casualty figures, a probable increase in casualties in 2014 and a predicted increase in road traffic, it is important that national, regional and local governments review these trends, and share best practice to learn what is, and what isn't, working around."

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