‘Modest but welcome’ reduction of North Yorkshire road deaths

tis  Traffic into Harrogate on Leeds Road.  (140205M4c)
tis Traffic into Harrogate on Leeds Road. (140205M4c)

There was a ‘modest but welcome reduction’ in the number of road deaths in North Yorkshire in 2014, according to the Chair of Road Safety Great Britain.

In a report for the Transport, Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Honor Byford said provisional records indicate there were 45 fatalities on the roads up to the end of 2014.

This was compared with 51 in the previous year with the reduction coming mainly amongst the riders of motorcycles which fell from 16 in 2013 to 14 in 2014.

Ms Byford said a series of steps were in place to try and address the toll of deaths and injuries and said she believes they have ‘turned a corner’.

She said: “You get ups and downs with this but it looks as if we’ve turned in the right direction and that’s what I want to see. It’s a really strong commitment from all the services in the county to make the roads safer.

“Young drivers are a key focus for us because they are over represented in terms of collisions and casualties so we have introduced The Enhanced Pass Plus programme.

“However, we also want to work with older drivers to keep them on the road and to keep their independence for this growing sector of the population.”

Ms Byford also stated that the group would have to become ‘smarter’ in their projects and their education as ‘continuing government cuts’ put pressure on the delivery of preventative measures.

The report also indicated that Harrogate’s Road Safety Group had been forced to analyse and respond to the ‘vast majority’ of reports from North Yorkshire’s Speed Management Protocol.

Residents can fill out a form to report their concern about speeding traffic which is then assessed and investigated by the local Road Safety Group who then obtain up to date speed and traffic flow data to consider what action is required.

During the two and a half years the protocol has been running in North Yorkshire, more than 600 reports have been received, with more than 280 coming from the Harrogate District.

Ms Byford said: “I wouldn’t say Harrogate is more dangerous than anywhere else in the county, in fact we are doing well compared to some other authorities.

“However, Harrogate in particular is more densely populated than other district so we have a lot of people requesting the kit but that’s because speeding is an important issue for them.”