The number of people injured on the roads of Lancashire has hit a five-year high, shocking new figures show.
But while the roads are getting more dangerous in most of the county, highways chiefs in Blackpool today hailed a fall in the number of people hurt on the resort’s roads last year.
For the first time in five years, there was not a single fatal traffic collision in the resort in 2014.
County Hall bosses said the Department for Transport figures, showing a 14 per cent rise in the number of people killed or seriously injured in Lancashire – not including Blackpool or Blackburn – were a “serious concern”.
Two years of falling casualty numbers came to an abrupt end last year, when 4,367 people were injured in a traffic accident in the county.
Sakthi Karunanithi, director of health and wellbeing for Lancashire County Council, said: “The increase in injuries on our roads over the last year is a serious concern and we’re working to interpret the data to understand the reasons for the recent rise.”
I am extremely pleased to read there were no fatalities on our roads last year
But he warned the figures need to be viewed “in context”. The average annual number of serious injuries between 2005 and 2009 was 873 – 19 per cent higher than the 2014 figure.
In Blackpool, however, the number of people hurt in a road accident fell for the second year running, to 560.
Although its total casualty rate of 396 per 100,000 people in the resort puts it among the 25 worst authorities in the country, very few of those involved serious injuries.
There were 51 people seriously hurts on the roads last year, the lowest number in five years and below the national average.
Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member responsible for road safety, said 20mph zones had helped makes the resort’s roads safer.
He added: “Road casualties in Blackpool have decreased by 20 per cent over the last five years and I am extremely pleased to read there were no fatalities on our roads last year.
“It is also worth noting that the amount of collisions on the Promenade has reduced since the introduction of a 20mph area outside the Tower.
“We are still very keen to reduce the amount of total casualties on our roads and are regularly reviewing our road network to see if there are ways that it can be made even safer, along with working with local schools to make sure children keep safe on the roads.”
In the last year, County bosses spent £500,000 improving safety at key junctions after previous figures showed a rise in cycling accidents.