Road deaths down despite funding cuts

PUBLISHED: 13:33 16 July 2012 | UPDATED: 17:00 16 July 2012

Somerset County Council

Somerset County Council

Copyright Archant Ltd

THE number of casualties on the roads dropped by more than a quarter in Somerset in five years.

The county has seen the number of deaths or serious injuries on its roads drop from 325 in 2006 to 238 last year against a target of 247.

The number of people less seriously injured also dropped, from 2,220 to 1,555.

The figures come despite Somerset County Council receiving £21.5million less funding than the £106.5million the authority was originally promised by the Government.

The authority is appealing for residents to take part in a survey to help secure £64million of funding for road improvements from the Government.

To take part in the survey, go to nhtsurvey.econtrack.co.uk/nhtsurvey.org

Cabinet member Cllr David Hall said: “When this ambitious plan began in 2006 we had no warning of the devastating cuts to local government funding which would affect our ability to do so much of what we would have liked to have done.

“I’m pleased that we managed to achieve so much to improve transport within Somerset, particularly around safety, despite the 20 per cent cut in funding for the programme.”

The target for road casualties, which covers all roads in the county except trunk roads and the M5 (which are covered by the Highways Agency) was achieved within the Local Transport Plan, which ended last year.

The plan has now been replaced by the Future Transport Plan, which focuses on aspects of road safety including speeding.

It asks residents to set up community speed watch schemes, which can be in any small village or town governed by a 30 or 40mph speed limit, with residents volunteering to operate speed guns.

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