Dozens killed or injured on Wigan's roads

Dozens of people were killed or seriously injured on the borough’s roads last year, shocking figures show.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 10:35 am
Caitlin Huddleston who tragically died in a road accident. Now her mum is backing the Brake campaign

In total there were 75 casualties in Wigan who either lost their lives or suffered major injuries on the roads in 2018, the data reveals.

The figures mean Wigan has the fourth most dangerous roads in Greater Manchester, with only Manchester, Bolton and Salford experiencing more deaths or serious injuries.

The data has been released by charity Brake for the launch of National Road Safety Week and reveals just how dangerous travelling on the region’s roads is, with 194 people being killed and a shocking 2,553 being seriously injured in the North West in 2018.

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The biggest cause of injury or loss of life in Wigan was being a pedestrian, with 24 people including seven children recorded as casualties while on foot in 2018.

Twenty incidents in the borough involved cars and there was the same number of casualties in motorbike smashes or collisions.

Ten cyclists, including four children, were killed or seriously injured in Wigan last year and the other casualty was in an incident involving an HGV.

The regional figures show the North West is becoming a more dangerous place to be on the road too, with the total of deaths representing a 16 per cent rise on those killed in 2017.

Across the region 29 per cent of all deaths and injuries were pedestrians.

As well as highlight the appalling dangers the public are being regularly exposed to when travelling by road Brake wants to use the national safety drive this week to highlight individuals who are doing their bit to bring the level of deaths and serious injuries down.

It is also calling on people to leave the car at home more or pledge to drive safely, always keeping within the speed limits and never getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said: “These findings paint an alarming picture of the danger on the North West’s roads and yet it’s what we’re all exposed to, every day, when getting about.

“We shouldn’t have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are calling on everyone to step up for Road Safety Week and shout out for the solutions that we know can make our roads safe.

“Across the region, people are working tirelessly to campaign for safe streets, organising petitions, meeting with MPs and councillors and raising money and awareness.

“This Road Safety Week we want everyone to think about how they can do their bit and step up for safe streets.

“Can you join or start a local campaign? Do you need to take the car on your next journey, or could you walk, cycle or get the bus?

“If you are travelling by car, will you pledge to always keep within speed limits and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs?

“Let’s all step up for safe streets and, together, we can help make roads safer for everyone.”

One such safety campaigner is Sharron Huddleston, whose 18-year-old daughter Caitlin was killed in a crash in 2017 after a friend who recently passed her driving test lost control of their car.

Sharron said: “The death of my daughter, Caitlin, broke my heart. Knowing that Caitlin’s death could have been prevented is what pushes me on to campaign for better driver licensing and why I’m encouraging others to Step Up for Safe Streets for Road Safety Week.

“No mother should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child in a road crash but by working together we can try and make sure that tragedies like Caitlin’s never happen again.”

During the safety week schoolchildren, community groups and employees will learn more about ways of keeping people safe on the road, from 20mph speed limits in urban areas to technology which can slow vehicles down.

Brake is also asking residents to fill out a survey about local street safety. The document is online at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/survey