Wigan’s roads are among the deadliest in the county, with five fatal incidents every year, new data has revealed.
The borough was ranked third highest among the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester for the number of deaths on the roads.
There were 28 fatal car accidents in Wigan between 2014 and 2018, an average of 5.6 per year.
This compared to the 54 incidents in Manchester, an average of 10.8 each year, and the lowest was Bury with just eight accidents, equating to 1.6 annually.
Tragically, we already know that 2019 will have been a worse year, there having been five pedestrian deaths in the last few weeks of the year alone.
Donna Barrow-Jones, 53, was fatally injured in a collision outside Wigan Infirmary on November 23.
Just days later 63-year-old Alice Lewis suffered what appeared to be a minor injury when hit by a van on Frog Lane but her condition deteriorated after her admission to hospital and she, sadly, died.
An inquest has also opened into the death of Leigh 68-year-old Sandra Jones who may have been run over by her own car in a bizarre accident.
And two men in their 80s and 70s were killed in a collision on Up Holland Road, Billinge, on December 20.
In the five years to 2018, there were 251 fatal accidents in total across Greater Manchester.
The highest number of fatal accidents happened on the A58, which runs through the Wigan borough and had 11 incidents, so 2.2 per year.
Other roads listed in the borough include the A573, which had four incidents (0.8 annually), while there were three accidents each on the A572 and B5215 (0.6 annually).
The most dangerous motorways were the M60 and M61, which claimed six lives over the five years, while there were four fatalities on the M62.
Data from the Department of Transport on fatal road accidents attended by Greater Manchester Police was analysed by fuel and oil supplier Crown Oil.
Marketing executive Panayiotis Markides said: “When you map the data out it’s clear that the most dangerous roads are those depended on by millions of commuters every day.
“Drivers need to be particularly cautious at this time of year as we enter the worst period for driving conditions.”
Insp Stephen Bryant, from Greater Manchester Police’s road policing unit, said: “Road safety in and around Greater Manchester is of paramount importance to us and we will use various tactics to reduce accidents and to generally make our roads much safer places to be.
“We regularly run Operation Considerate in and around Wigan which targets motorists and an array of driving offences, as we look at how road users interact with each other. We have also recently announced a new transport unit which was set up mid-November and will be working tirelessly across Greater Manchester to improve all travel safety.
“Together with partners, we are working hard to reduce the number of casualties and fatalities on our roads and prevent the devastating consequences this can have on loved ones and the wider community. I’d also encourage the wider public to report any concerns as your vigilance could help to reduce fatal incidents. You can do via our website, through the LiveChat function or by calling 101. Alternatively you can report these anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.”
Dave Lyon, assistant director for environment at Wigan Council, said: “Road safety is a major priority for us 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 proactive approach using techniques that are proven to reduce risk to motorists and pedestrians.
“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.”
Among the deaths during those five years was young mum Chloe Haydock, who was fatally injured when the car she was travelling in hit a concrete bollard on Gathurst Road, Shevington, on January 13, 2018.
Driver John Llewellyn, 36, of Red Rock Street, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to causing her death by dangerous driving when he appeared at Bolton Crown Court last month and the case was adjourned for sentencing on January 16.
Isobelle Woodall, 19, was killed after the car she was travelling in with her boyfriend was hit by a drink-driver on Central Park Way in August 2015. Stuart Rudd, of Walkden Avenue East, was jailed for eight and a half years after the crash.
Just a few months earlier, in June 2015, Steven Peet, 39, of Beech Hill, was killed almost instantly as his Kawasaki 6000 ZZR bike collided with a Jeep Cherokee on Meadow Pit Lane, Haigh.
Elise Kelly, 16, died in hospital after being a passenger in a car which collided with a bollard and garden wall in Lower Ince in the early hours in March 2015.