Deaths of cyclists and pedestrians on Scotland's roads to overtake those of car users

Vulnerable users need better road safety measures

by Sarah Barth   December 30, 2012  

Road racing in Scotland

There will be more deaths of cyclists and pedestrians on the roads in Scotland than car users for the first time within a few years, experts say.

Car casualties are declining sharply, and as people start cycling and walking more, transport experts say that safety priorities must be adjusted to ensure the safety of more vulnerable road users.

The Scotsman reports that statistics, being highlighted by the Scottish Transport Studies Group think tank," reveal that the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in Scotland last year increased by 10 per cent from 504 to 556, while the figure for cyclists went up by 12 per cent, from 145 to 163 – making a combined total of 719.

"By contrast, the casualty toll among car drivers and passengers fell by 16 per cent, from 1,007 to 845."

Derek Halden, chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Scotland, said the casualty trend must be halted by making walking and cycling safer.
“Long-term trends show that we are on track to see pedestrian fatal and serious casualties overtake car user casualties within a year or so,” he said.

“If the recession continues to bite, we will have more people walking and less driving, so this might happen sooner rather than later.”
Halden, also the director of Edinburgh-based transport consultancy DHC, added: “Far too little has been done for 
pedestrians and there are few towns in Scotland where parents can feel relaxed about a child walking to the local shop or to the park, given the lack of safe routes.”

Halden said far more spending was required on improving walking routes, which accounted for 80 per cent of journeys.
“Most European countries have got their pedestrian casualties under control, and pedestrian casualties is a particularly Scottish problem – much worse than England,” he added.

Keith Irving, head of Living Streets Scotland said: “Every death or injury on our roads is a tragedy. We still need to ensure our roads are safer for the most vulnerable road users, and the fact that an increasing percentage of serious casualties are pedestrians illustrates the scale of the challenge.

“The 12 per cent increase in pedestrian serious injuries in 2011 should serve as a wake-up call to the government and 
local authorities that changes need to be made to ensure all road users are safe on our streets.” The Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency conceded that more improvements could be made to cut deaths and injuries.

 

1 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Just wondering if the heading should be changed to 'Deaths of pedestrians and cyclists ...' as the article very much focuses on pedestrians. If this is a quantitative exercise, I should find this more acceptable as ONLY 163 cyclists were killed or seriously injured compared to 556 pedestrians.

If not already done so, is there any merit in considering the number of pedestrians and the number of cyclists with their respective casualty rates to identify levels of risk. Assessing potential risk is improtant but of the 163 what were their particular circumstances? Are there any common themes that we can learn from as cyclists, drivers, the 'law', government etc.etc.

Derek Halden considers more people will be walking becuase of the recession and I would add more are cycling too so informed positive action to reduce that risk will be welcome for an increasing number of cyclists. Although, having a personal interest as I commute over 100 miles a week on both rural and urban roads, I am raising this on behalf of all cyclists regrdless of fitness level and/or ability.

On a lighter note, I'm wondering if Scottish cyclists are preparing for possible independence by doing a bit of racing on the other side Smile

posted by chihuahua [1 posts]
31st December 2012 - 16:50

like this
Like (1)