Resort’s high road death toll

Blackpool has been named second worst place in the county for the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads.

Tuesday, 28th October 2014, 1:00 pm
Fatal crashes: A witness appeal board at the scene of a crash which claimed the life of Cameron Barr, 22, in June 2013  one of four fatalities on the resorts roads last year, putting it second worst in the county for fatal and serious road accidents last year

The resorts ranks just behind Lancaster in Lancashire statistics for last year, after the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on its highways rose by 40 per cent from 50 in 2012 to 70 in 2013.

Maps showing where incidents have happened highlight central and South Blackpool as the worst for accidents, including seven around Talbot Square and six each around Whitegate Drive and Central Drive.

While these show there is no particular pattern for the riskiest roads, council bosses have said they always work to find ways to make roads safer and communities more aware of dangers.

Paul Binks, road and transport safety manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “Thankfully it’s rare we have fatalities, we’ve gone from 60 per year to around 30 (across Lancashire). But that’s still 30 too many.”

In 2003, Blackpool Council launched its ‘Blackpool is 30 or less’ campaign in a bid to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries and incidents on roads in the resort.

The year previous there had been 10 fatalities on Blackpool’s roads and 95 serious casualties, sparking the campaign.

Last year, there were four fatalities on the road; Jeffrey Martin, 38, from Fleetwood, died after crashing a stolen car into the sea wall at Starr Gate on June 1; Cameron Barr, a 22-year-old father-of-two, was killed on a motorcycle following a collision with a van on Newhouse Road, Marton, on June 10; 50-year-old Peter Dodd, from Blackpool, died on September 25 after having a heart attack at the wheel of his car while driving along Yeadon Way the previous day and 
holidaymaker Elizabeth Cornwell, 57, died after being hit by a car on Waterloo Road, South Shore, while visiting family in the 
resort on October 17.

There were two fatalities on Wyre roads last year – Harry Owen, 85, died after being hit by a car as he crossed Amounderness Way, Poulton, in September. 16-year-old Sarah Duggan died after being hit by a car on Fleetwood Road, Fleetwood, on November 4.

There were no fatalities on roads within Fylde Council’s area last year, but there were 34 serious incidents. There were a further 46 serious road incidents on Wyre’s roads in the year.

The Fleetwood teenager’s death was one of two child deaths on Lancashire roads last year.

Since her death, road safety bosses have worked with schools and also put in proposals for traffic calming measures where the incident happened in a bid to prevent any other incidents.

Mr Binks added: “We look at the physical side of roads but also the behaviours of drivers, how we can influence the behaviours of motorcyclists, young drivers and older drivers especially, and also how people drive around schools.

“When we meet a family who have lost someone we’re very often spurred on to do the work we’re doing.”

Proposals are now in place for Lancashire County Council to implement 20mph zones or traffic calming measures on accident hotspots in areas of Knott End, Preesall, Poulton, Cleveleys and Fleetwood.

Both Blackpool borough and Lancashire County councils work with Lancashire Police to target driving habits and groups prone to accidents and sharing information for councils to change road layouts if need be.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary’s road policing unit said: “We target behaviours that persist in causing death and serious injury – this is what we call the ‘fatal four’. These are drink driving, speeding, seat belt wearing and mobile phone use. Engagement and education is key to ensure that the public fully understand our work around these areas.”

Blackpool Council did not provide a comment.