Dozens of Wigan school children killed or injured on borough roads

Staff and pupils from Landgate School raise money for the charity Brake
Staff and pupils from Landgate School raise money for the charity Brake

School pupils turned out in force to call for safer roads after it was revealed dozens of Wigan children are killed or injured each year

Latest figures from the Department for Transport show there were 67 casualties in the borough in 2017, rising from 49 in 2016.

So pupils from Landgate School in Winstanley joined children across the country to take part in road safety charity Brake’s Kids Walk, with Shaun the Sheep.

The national project sees children’s TV character Shaun and his flock help youngsters learn road safety messages and call on adults to make roads safer.

Pupils walked in crocodile formation and carried banners and posters featuring Shaun during a special event on Wednesday morning.

They also raised money for Brake, which supports families who have lost loved ones in road crashes.

Vicki Pendlebury, a teacher at Landgate School, said: “With us being a special school, we do promote access in the community all the time to develop pupils’ independence and social skills. Road safety is a big issue for a lot of children, particularly children who aren’t independent out and about anyway.

“For our learners, we do take part in road safety awareness. As a school we are also promoting the daily mile. We are not just thinking about road safety, but also our emotional health and well-being, so we are linking them.”

Figures show 2,052 children were killed or injured on North West roads in 2017 – an average of 39 children every week.

Although the overall number of child road casualties has dropped by 11 per cent since 2014, when 2,306 children were killed or injured, figures have increased over the last couple of years.

The campaign sees schools and nurseries from the region unite with Brake’s Kids Walk to call for five measures to help keep children safe – footpaths, cycle paths, safe places to cross, slow traffic and clean traffic.

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager for Brake, said: “Every child should be able to walk in their community without fear of traffic and pollution. Unfortunately, many kids are unable to do so because they don’t have access to simple measures such as footpaths, cycle paths and safe places to cross. Many more must contend with fast traffic and pollution from vehicle emissions.

“If we want children and their families to walk in the North West, then we need to make sure their journeys are safe.

“We’re delighted that so many schools and children across the region agree with us on this and are taking part in Brake’s Kids Walk. Together we can raise awareness about the issues that matter to them and help make their roads safer.”