Huge fall in road deaths

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WIGAN road deaths have HALVED and other injury accidents are plummeting, delighted safety campaigners confirmed today.

Nine people were killed on our roads in 2012...falling to just four last year, the most recent for which figures were available.

The national survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists also found that there has been a reduction in the number of those seriously injured in traffic accidents, from 65 to 61. Meanwhile those receiving injuries not classified as serious reduced by a fifth from 499 to 400, with over all casualties also showing a similar reduction.

Safety initiatives across Wigan such as 20’s Plenty, traffic calming ramps and the ever-controversial speed cameras - as well as increasing driver awareness and training - are all said to have contributed.

And the IAM praised the council for rolling out safety measures which are making an appreciable difference.

However it isn’t necessarily good news regionally or nationally.

In the IAM statistics, Wigan comes under Lancashire rather than Greater Manchester and in the county as a whole there has been a worrying increase in road accident injuries and fatalities.

In Lancashire 72 more people were killed or seriously injured in 2013 compared to the previous year. Of these 100 were cyclists - a huge increase from the previous year’s 63. This has attributed to the cycling craze of recent years prompted by British successes on the roads and track.

Simon Best, chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motorists which has a Wigan branch meeting monthly, said that although figures will always vary from year to year.

But the wide range of results suggested that Wigan was a council much better at putting measures in place that are having a marked difference in reducing the numbers of deaths and serious injuries on its roads.

He said: “As the economy improves, spending on road safety must be seen as a priority across the whole of the UK with clear strategies in place to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Even one death or injured person on our roads is one too many,” he added.

Scores of Wigan drivers per year receive specialist training through the IAM’s commercial division offering occupational driver training though the programme IAM Drive and Survive.

Wigan is continuing to make bicycle safety a priorty by introducing more cycle-only lanes, including one from Wallgate to Newtown.