More road casualties in Bedford last year, despite fall across Britain

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There were more road casualties in Bedford last year, new figures show, despite numbers falling across Britain.

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart said whoever wins the upcoming election should prioritise an updated road safety plan, to further reduce unnecessary injuries and deaths.

Provisional figures from the Department for Transport suggest there were 430 road casualties in Bedford in 2023 – a 3% rise from 419 the year before.

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However, it was a decrease from 561 in 2014, which saw the most injuries in the last 10 years.

Provisional figures from the Department for Transport suggest there were 430 road casualties in Bedford in 2023 – a 3% rise from 419 the year beforeProvisional figures from the Department for Transport suggest there were 430 road casualties in Bedford in 2023 – a 3% rise from 419 the year before
Provisional figures from the Department for Transport suggest there were 430 road casualties in Bedford in 2023 – a 3% rise from 419 the year before

In Bedford, 73 people were seriously injured on the roads last year, three of whom died – the same as in 2022.

A total of 1,645 road users were killed in crashes in 2023, a decline of 4% from the 1,711 in 2022.

Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, said the figures were “encouraging”, but traffic collisions still cause “unacceptable loss of life and extreme suffering”.

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“The ripple effect goes far beyond the statistics; it devastates families and shatters communities,” he added.

“We need to see collective action and commitment from everyone to deliver a significant reduction in road deaths and serious injuries and to create safer streets for all.”

Across Britain, a total of 132,063 road casualties were recorded in 2023 – down 3% from the year before. Most of these were in London, with 26,138, while the North East saw the fewest, with 4,018.

In the East of England, 13,068 people were injured or killed.

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Nicholas Lyes, director of policy and standards at IAM RoadSmart, said little progress has been made in reducing the number of deaths on the roads in 2023.

“It is a stark reminder to all parties that an updated road safety plan as well as a national roads renewal programme must be a priority for whomever forms the next government,” he added.

The RAC has pointed to a growing number of pedestrian fatalities and said it “should be a red flag to the Government signifying just how dangerous our roads still are”.

There were 407 pedestrians killed on Britain’s roads in 2023.

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RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “Any number of deaths on the road is too many, so we strongly encourage the new Government not to take these figures lightly and to make road safety a priority.

“We continue to believe the Government should reinstate road casualty reduction targets.”

The DfT said the Government’s THINK! Campaign aims to cut road deaths by changing attitudes and behaviours.

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