Department for Transport figures have been released showing that Birmingham has seen an increase in the numbers of deaths and injuries on its roads over the last year – and this despite there being a 4% decrease across the country.
Britain’s second city saw 4,158 injuries on the roads in 2015, a massive 16% rise since the previous year, and one of the biggest rises across the United Kingdom. 56 people died as a result of road traffic incidents across the wider Midlands region, a similar figure to the previous year.
Across the Midlands, the picture was better than in Birmingham, although Wolverhampton saw a 12% rise in road traffic related injuries, Sandwell, Walsall and Dudley all saw decreases.
The picture across the country is one of a reduction in the numbers of accidents and fatalities on the roads, with deaths reducing from 1,775 to 1,732 in the last two years, and the total number of people seriously injured or killed being the second lowest since statistics started to be published by the DfT. This has led to speculation about why Birmingham is bucking this trend. The number of Police Traffic Officers has fallen by over a quarter in the last 5 years in the region, although it is not clear whether this is linked to the increase in accidents.
Philip Edwards, a Serious Injury expert in Clarke Willmott’s Birmingham office said:-
Behind these statistics, we must always remember that every serious injury or death is a real life tragedy, and any accident is one too many. However, the figures for Birmingham are alarming, and brings with it the reality of a large number of people living with the consequences of these accidents across our region. It is pleasing to see that Birmingham City Council will shortly be publishing their Road Safety Strategy and I am sure everyone is hoping that will be an important part of reducing road traffic accidents on the regions roads”