Leading safety campaigner demands Shropshire Council takes action over number of road deaths
A leading road safety campaigner has demanded Shropshire Council takes action over the number of deaths on Shropshire roads.
John Whitelegg has written books and more than 50 papers on sustainable travel and safety and is founder and editor of the Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice.
Earlier this week it was reported that the number of people killed on the county’s roads last year was the same as in 2017.
The Department for Transport’s latest figures show 15 people were killed on Shropshire roads in 2018, and five died in Telford & Wrekin. In Powys nine people were killed.
Road safety charity Brake says the number of road deaths and serious injuries in Britain is “deeply worrying”, and has called for more government action.
Professor Whitelegg has been calling for a 20mph limit to be made on residential streets in the county and so far eight town councils have signed up.
But he is frustrated that Shropshire Council has not addressed the problem.
He said: “Public Health England has publicised that Shropshire’s tally of road deaths and injuries is “significantly worse” than the England average and Shropshire Council has done nothing to address this serious problem.
“The eight town councils voting to support 20mph have written to Shropshire Council to ask that 20mph is implemented but Shropshire Council has not taken any action on this request and it rejects the widely accepted 20mph speed limit on residential roads now in place in 50 council areas and covering 15 million residents.
“Research from Bristol City Council on a three year programme of monitoring of signage only 20mph (no humps and bumps) shows that a one per cent reduction in speed produces a six per cent reduction in collisions.
“20mph is supported by all major public health and road safety organisations and it is enforced by the majority of police forces for example West Midlands Police.
“Shropshire Council is probably unique in the road safety/20mph debate.
“It fails to recognise the importance of a town council vote and request, it fails to take account of high quality public health advice, including clear advice from the World Health Organisation to adopt 20mph and it has taken no action at all to remedy the very serious Public Health England finding that we are ‘significantly worse than the England average’.”