Serious crashes soar in borough

The number of 'serious' crashes on Wigan borough roads has increased by almost 20 per cent over the past seven years - despite a significant decrease in the overall quantity of collisions.
A serious injury crash in WiganA serious injury crash in Wigan
A serious injury crash in Wigan

Figures reported by Transport for Greater Manchester have revealed an increase from 56 “serious” collisions on Wigan roads in 2010, to 67 last year.

The number of fatal incidents remains unchanged at five both in 2010 and 2017, peaking in 2015 when there were eight lethal collisions.

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Despite this spike in serious incidents - there has been a significant drop in the total number of crashes - which includes hundreds of “slight” outcomes.

Serious crashes are those which cause life-threatening, life-changing and otherwise major injuries.

Chief Insp Gareth Parkin from GMP’s Traffic Unit said: “Road safety continues to be one our highest priorities and we are committed to working with our partners to raise awareness of the risks associated with dangerous driving to protect all road users and pedestrians and reduce the number of collisions and casualties.

“Collisions are often caused by drivers being distracted for various reasons such as mobile phones, fellow passengers or loud music as well as unexpected events on the road ahead.

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“While the vast majority of motorists across Greater Manchester heed the warnings and drive with due care, a minority still continue to put themselves and others in danger. We all have a personal responsibility for our actions and safety when in charge of a vehicle and all drivers should be aware that we are watching and we will take action against those risking theirs and other drivers lives by not driving safely.”

In 2010, there were 509 incidents, an average of 1.4 crashes a day. Out of these, 448 were classed as “slight”. The data for 2017 reveals a 33 per cent decrease since this point, with the number dropping to just 341 - less than one a day. The number of slight accidents also fell 40 per cent from 448 in 2010 to 369 in 2017.

Paul Barton, director for environment at Wigan Council, said: “Road safety is a major priority for us as a council and is at the forefront of our thinking when developing and improving the borough’s road network.

“Working with road safety colleagues across Greater Manchester and with TfGM we take a pro-active approach using techniques that are proven to help prevent road collisions and reduce risk to motorist and pedestrians.

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“As part of The Deal we encourage members of the public to let us know about their specific road safety concerns and we would encourage residents to support our community led campaigns like community speed watch scheme.”

Measures to avert accidents include speed bumps, 20mph speed limits on many back streets and estates plus the introduction of cycle lanes away from the highway such as on Robin Park Road.