Fewer injured on roads - but death toll rises
THE number of people injured on the roads in Downend and the surrounding area has fallen to its lowest level for more than 20 years.
But the number of fatalities on South Gloucestershire roads rose to eight last year, from five in 2016.
The council says the total casualty figure of 447 was the lowest since the authority was created in 1996. It was down by almost a quarter on the 2016 figure of 571.
The number of people seriously injured in 2017 was 34, down from 43 the previous year, while the number of people with less serious injuries was 405, more than 100 fewer than the 523 recorded by police in 2016.
Improvements to junctions identified as black spots have helped to drive down the overall casualty figures, says the council.
It cites the example of the junction of Bromley Heath Road, Cleeve Hill and Cleeve Wood Road, where the number of injury accidents fell from five to two in the three years either side of changes made to the traffic lights.
Traffic calming and pedestrian crossing improvements on St James Street and Cossham Street in Mangotsfield also cut the number of accidents where someone was hurt, from nine to three over the same period.
The council says its officers continually monitor police reports to identify where people are being injured on its road network.
Spending on improvements is targeted at areas where injury accidents occur most often and involve “vulnerable” road users most likely to be injured in an accident, such as children, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorbike riders.
Council cabinet member for transport Colin Hunt said: “It’s great to see that casualty rates have reduced, making South Gloucestershire’s roads some of the safest in the country.
“The council takes road safety extremely seriously and we work closely with our partners in the police, with schools and with other agencies to identify where and why road accidents happen and what can be done to prevent them.
“However, we cannot afford to become complacent. Eight fatalities is eight fatalities too many, and the council will continue to make every effort to deliver road safety training to raise awareness about this issue.”
A council team provides road safety training sessions to thousands of people each year in South Gloucestershire.