ROAD safety figures from Gloucestershire County Council have revealed that the Cotswolds have the most road collisions in the county.
In total the Cotswolds had 611 reported collisions from 2011-2013, of which 23 resulted in fatalities.
MP for the Cotswolds Geoffrey Clifton-Brown commented on the issue, saying: “Road safety is clearly an incredibly important issue and one which I have campaigned on throughout my period as a Member of Parliament.
“In particular I have been leading the campaign to find a solution to the A417 Missing Link, which I am pleased is now beginning to seem more likely, with the Secretary of State for Transport visiting the road this week.”
“Whilst it is unfortunate that the Cotswolds has the highest proportion of accidents in Gloucestershire this is almost inevitable since the Cotswolds has more than 40 per cent of the roads in Gloucestershire and has large sections of the A417 and A40, making a solution to the A417 even more crucial.”
Speaking for Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership Garry Handley agreed that its large area and major roads made the Cotswolds hard to compare to other districts.
He said that road traffic collisions were falling year on year and that the road safety partnership was involved in a campaign called ‘Respect the Cotswolds’, aimed at promoting responsibility on the roads.
He added: “As we head into the height of summer we are particularly keen to remind people to be aware of walkers and cyclists using the rural roads.”
Although the Cotswolds has the largest number of collisions the highest percentage leading to deaths were found in Tewkesbury, accounting for almost 5 per cent of the 477 incidents there.
Of collisions recorded in the Cotswolds 460 were slight, 128 were serious and 23 were fatal.
Cirencester is listed as the third worst parish for collisions after Gloucester and Cheltenham with 77 collisions, followed by Stroud’s 54.
County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson has been campaigning for safer roads in the district for some time and recently reported Gloucestershire County Council’s findings to the district council, and is asking for greater action on the issue.
Cllr Hodgkinson said: “It’s a big concern for residents in the Cotswolds and the issue most regularly raised with me I when I talk to people in the doorstep.”
“Fatalities are the worst thing. We want to avoid them but my concern is that we have so many more accidents than any other area.”
Cllr Hodgkinson suggested that improvements could be made to some roads to decrease the risk of collisions and to reduce the number of people taking risks while overtaking.