Latest figures confirm the dismal state of road safety in Wirral. Once again, our borough falls way behind national statistics confirming that pedestrians and cyclists face wholly unacceptable risks.
The figures for child pedestrian casualties are particularly shocking. Under 16s in Wirral are almost twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with the national average.
The figures for cyclists are also very poor. Despite low rates of cycling, local casualty rates are well above the national average.
Commenting on the figures, Pat Cleary of Wirral Green party says “How long do we have to tolerate such dismal statistics for road safety in Wirral? Each statistic is a tragedy in itself and we simply shouldn’t accept such a poor performance from local councillors and the local police force.
Given these figures, it is particularly shocking that the Labour Party is dragging its heels on the implementation of 20mph as the default speed limit in residential areas. This is something Liverpool and other areas are fast tracking but Wirral Labour clearly doesn’t see road safety as a priority.”
The analysis also raises serious questions for the police, especially as Merseyside as a whole is shown to be the fourth worst area of the country for pedestrian casualties.Merseyside police recently used 2010 data in isolation to suggest that significant progress has been made(1). However, using a single year’s figures is not a statistically robust approach and ignores the fact that traffic levels have fallen due to economic recession.
Pat Cleary says, “Merseyside police need to give a much higher priority to pedestrian and cyclist safety. Basic infringements including speeding and pavement parking are routine. We need a cultural shift, both within the police and across the wider community, if these figures are to show a much needed improvement in the years to come”
Note: 1 “Dramatic reduction in Merseyside road deaths”, Wirral Globe, 30th June 2011