Damning figures reveal roads in the Cotswolds have worst safety record in whole of Gloucestershire
MORE people die on roads in the Cotswolds than anywhere else in Gloucestershire, according to the most recent figures.
The damning statistics were brought to light at a recent meeting held by Cotswold District Council’s Audit and Scrutiny Committee, in which members agreed that urgent action must be taken to improve the area’s roads.
Over 330 people were injured on roads in the Cotswolds during 2011, the equivalent of one person being hurt on nearly every day of the year.
Neighbouring Cheltenham, a town with a population 30,000 greater than the Cotswolds, only saw 230 accidents in the same time period.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, said: “If these figures are accurate then they are clearly a cause for concern. I am always in contact with the Highways Agency and the police to see what can be done about road safety across the Cotswolds.
“I often meet with local residents associations to discuss specific local concerns and to work to improve the safety in specific areas that experience frequent accidents.”
Figures reveal that for every 1,000 people in the Cotswolds, 4.02 will sustain injuries in on the roads – two people more than in Cheltenham and 1.22 more people than Gloucester.
The data also shows that there has been an increase in the number of people that have been killed or seriously injured on roads in Cirencester between 2007 and 2011, compared to the last time numbers were recorded between 1994 and 1998.
Within Gloucestershire there is 571 kilometres of A roads, 45 per cent of all accidents in 2011 happened on one of these roads with the most notorious being the A419 near Cirencester, the A417 at Birdlip and the A429 Fosse Way.
Paul Hodgkinson, a seasoned campaigner for road safety and Parliamentary candidate for the Cotswolds, said: “These figures back up what I have felt for a while, that the Cotswolds has a series of roads which can be dangerous. I’m saddened that these figures show the Cotswolds to have the most accidents in Gloucestershire.
“The NoCrash (North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm) has shown that it’s really by people working together that speeds can be reduced in future. I have sought to bring together the Highways Agency, the police, parish councils and residents to work together to get better enforcement.”
The shocking statistics, coupled with the fact the Cotswolds is failing in terms of ambulance response times, will no doubt be a cause of concern for local authorities and motorists alike.
Members of the Audit and Scrutiny committee voted to hold a special meeting on road safety in the New Year.
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