Dozens of children still being killed or injured on Wigan's roads each year

The latest figures looking at the borough's tragic young accident victims have been released.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 9:22 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 9:24 am

The most up-to-date statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) show there was an average of 61 child road casualties in the borough each year between 2015 and 2019.

The final figure of 62 youngsters killed or hurt in 2019 was a rise from the 59 recorded in 2018 but down from the 77 in 2017, the highest yearly total in the set.

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Flowers left at the site of a road traffic collision

Thousands of pupils from across the region recently have been taking to the streets outside their schools to demand safety improvements and highlight the lives lost or impacted.

Across the North West there are 2,164 children losing their lives or being injured on the roads each year, the third-highest regional figure in the UK behind the South East and London.

While the overall figures do suggest a steady decline Brake says there is more that could be done, especially after a year in which more people have ventured out on foot or on two wheels during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scott Williams, head of programme delivery at Brake, said: “It’s every child’s right to be able to walk in their community without fear of traffic and pollution.

“Throughout the pandemic, families have taken to the streets on foot and by bike and we hope these activities will continue as restrictions lift and ordinary road traffic returns.

“It is vital that children are able to walk safely in the places where they live.

“Although numbers of children killed or injured in the North West shows positive signs of decline, every road death or injury is one too many and causes devastation for families, schools and communities.”

The local authority with the highest child road casualty figures in the North West is Lancashire (excluding Blackburn and Blackpool), where 384 children were killed or injured in that year.

Nonetheless, this represents a 24 per cent drop from the figure in 2015 of 504.

Stockport had the lowest figure in 2019 with 38 and the smallest five-year average figure as well.

While Wigan’s was one of the smaller averages recorded in the region it was notable that the 2019 figure was higher than the 55 deaths or casualties recorded in 2015.

Recently schools and nurseries from the region joined the nationwide Kids Walk campaign, calling for five key measures to enable children to make safe and healthy journeys: footpaths, cycle paths, safe places to cross, slow traffic and clean traffic.

Short, supervised walks took place at or around schools and nurseries, with children walking in a crocodile formation and holding hands to highlight the importance of being able to walk without fear or threat from traffic.

Wigan Council has in recent years also had a rolling programme of introducing 20mph limits on minor roads around the borough and introducing further traffic calming measures near schools where possible.

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