Bid to improve road safety for children

Dozens of children have been killed or seriously injured on Fylde coast roads in the last five years, figures show.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 9:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:41 pm
Lancashire County Council director of public health Dr Sakthi Karunanithi said child casualties on Lancashire roads are higher than other areas

There were 110 child casualties in Lancashire last year, according to Government data – of which 21 were on the Fylde coast.

A report to Lancashire county Council, which looks after the roads in Fylde and Wyre, shows figures for the county are among the worst in the country.

But while in parts of Lancashire, including Wyre and Preston, child casualties have risen in recent years, that was not true in Blackpool. Nine children were killed or seriously injured in the resort in 2015, nine in Wyre and three in Fylde. Now County Hall chiefs are looking at plans to make the roads safer for children.

Lancashire County Council director of public health Dr Sakthi Karunanithi

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, LCC director of public health said: “The number of people who are killed or injured on our roads has fallen considerably over the last decade, but the number of incidents involving children, particularly child pedestrians, remains higher in Lancashire than many other areas.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and we need everyone to help prevent deaths and injuries on our roads by staying alert and driving carefully.”

The report, which is to be presented to LCC’s cabinet committee for performance improvement, singles out boroughs outside the Fylde coast – Preston, Burnley and Pendle – as having the worst accident figures.

Across the whole county council area – which does not cover Blackpool – there were 363 kids killed or badly injured during the calendar years from 2011 to 2015 - the highest in the whole of Great Britain. The Blackpool figure was 47.

Lancashire County Council director of public health Dr Sakthi Karunanithi

The LCC report, which comes with 20 proposals aimed at reducing casualty numbers, found most accidents happen when children are walking. And the vast majority involve children running or stepping into the road, often on streets where visibility is reduced by parked cars.

Other common factors in collisions are children using pedestrian crossings, parents losing control of younger children when crossing the road, children moving together in groups and also distraction.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member responsible for road safety, said regular reviews look at ways to make the resort’s roads safer and recent work includes the sue of traffic calming measures and 20mph zones around schools and in built up areas.

He added: “It’s promising to see that the figures aren’t rising but we are always keen to reduce the amount of accidents on our roads.

“Schools in Blackpool can access road safety training from the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.”