Sunday, 1 December 2013

Road casualities decrease in Brighton and Hove - Greens claim credit for their sustainable transport policies - total road deaths and collisions down but cycle casualties increase

30.11.2013. Brighton and Hove City Council and the city's Green Party trumpeted a reduction in the total number of reported injuries on the cities roads, following data released in November 2013.

Council data showed 978 people killed or injured in Brighton and Hove in 2012, down from 1,106 (2011) and 1,110 (2010). Numbers killed (5) or seriously injured (155) also fell, as did number of collisions (789, down from 893). 

The Green Party, which is in control of the city, said the drop was due to its policies, which are designed to encourage sustainable transport - ie a 'modal shift' away from private motor cars and toward public transport, cycling and walking.

The council published detailed breakdowns of the statistics that showed the overall drop in casualties. The publication of detailed casualty data by the council is a new development. These data also show breakdowns for 'vulnerable groups'. Among these, there has been a slight increase in causalities among cyclists. In 2012, 161 cyclists were injured, up from 157 the previous year. There were no cyclist fatalities. This might be presumed due to an increase in cyclists using the roads. Data is detailed in links given at the end of this article.

Councillor Ian Davey, Brighton and Hove City Council’s lead member for transport, said: “Clearly our policy of focusing on improvements to travel and road safety over the last few years is paying off in saving lives, preventing serious injury and making Brighton and Hove a much safer place to travel than other parts of the south east. Better pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and road layouts, coupled with a steady shift away from car use to buses, cycling and walking, are creating a safer, cleaner and more people-friendly environment for everyone. We will continue to build on this progress.”

Ian Davey is a member of the Green Party, who control Brighton & Hove's City Council. Its the only city in the UK controlled by Greens, and a move toward sustainable transport was a central plank of their 2011 election manifesto. This includes a commitment to introduce 20mph limits in most parts of the city.

Per-Eric Hawthorne is a spokesperson for Unchain the Brighton Motorist, a lobbying group established earlier in 2013 in response to new 20 mph limits. He was reported as saying: “Why does Brighton and Hove City Council imagine there’s less car use? It has policies which are supposed to encourage less car use but which actually just divert traffic.

“We all want to reduce accidents on the road, but the Greens should also be wary of claiming for themselves what’s been caused by other people’s policies before them. They came into office in 2011. There’s been a national decrease in KSI numbers for the last three years. The council isn’t bucking trends.”

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