The council’s first Annual Road Safety Report shows a general decreasing trend in accidents on the borough’s roads, with an overall reduction of 46 per cent in total reported casualties since 2005.
This decrease has been supported by a number of road safety schemes and campaigns including various new crossings, pedestrian refuge, road and junction improvements, and educational work in schools especially for younger children and young cyclists.
While the number of pedestrian casualties has significantly reduced over recent years, there has been an increasing trend in adult cyclist injuries. This however is in the context of substantial growth in cycling in North Tyneside which has risen by 84 per cent between 2010 and 2014.
The council is committed to making it easier for more people to take to two wheels by providing dedicated cycle facilities and improving cycling on the waggon ways network throughout the borough. Work is also ongoing with local cycle groups, retailers, businesses and neighbouring local authorities to make it easier and safer for people to use their bikes for work and leisure.
The council and its partners are also working with schools and have delivered road safety education to more than 16,500 pupils. More than 700 nursery children have benefited from ‘Balance bike’ training and a further 587 children have received practical pedestrian training.
Despite cuts to its funding, the council will continue to support national, regional and local road safety initiatives to further reduce road casualties. At a local level this includes ‘Be a Smarter Parker’ – a campaign by the Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn calling for more considerate parent parking near school gates.
Welcoming the report, Cllr John Harrison, cabinet member for Housing and Transport said: “I’m very proud that the good work we are doing is definitely making North Tyneside’s roads safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
“While any injury on local roads is one too many, these figures show the borough’s road safety record in recent years continues to be one of the best in the region. We will continue to strive to keep reducing the number of people who are hurt on roads through education, training and local safety schemes.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind all drivers, wherever they are, that speed is such a crucial factor in road accidents and that all motorists should stick to speed limits, observe the advised stopping distance and be aware of pedestrians and cyclists.”