England tops the UK road safety league table with the lowest rate for deaths on the roads, ahead of Scotland and Wales, with Northern Ireland firmly at the bottom, according to a report published today by the IAM.
The report ‘Comparisons -- England’s regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’ shows substantial differences in the safety of roads and levels of car ownership around the UK. England’s north - south divide is also a significant factor.
In England the north east and the north west are the safest places to drive, while the east Midlands is the most dangerous.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said:
“While the UK is now top of the European road safety league, the risk of being killed on UK roads varies considerably around the country. Road deaths in Northern Ireland are twice that of north east England. Bringing the worst areas in the UK up to the same level of the best would save many more lives and reduce serious injuries. This should be a prime focus for central, devolved and local government road safety plans.”
While England’s northern regions are the safest, they are at the bottom of the car ownership league table -- more than a quarter of households don’t own a car. Over 80 per cent of households in the south east and the south west own one or more. Overall in England car ownership fell in 2009, in Wales there was no change, and in Scotland there was a modest increase on 2008.
Greig said: “Car ownership is a good measure of prosperity. Regional declines in ownership and the fact that ownership is much higher in the south of England reflects the UK’s economic and employment trends.”