Road casualties in Bedford lower than before pandemic

But the RAC say the Government must do more to improve road safety
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Fewer people were killed or injured on Bedford's roads in 2021 than in the year before the pandemic, new figures show.

Road casualties dropped across Great Britain as drivers stayed at home during lockdowns, but charities have warned the Government must do more to tackle an uptick in injuries from traffic accidents.

Provisional figures from the Department for Transport suggest there were 368 road casualties in Bedford in 2021 – a drop from 373 the year before, and fewer than the 484 in 2019.

The A421The A421
The A421

Fewer people were killed on the area's roads last year – four people died, while six were killed in 2020.

Meanwhile, 63 serious injuries were recorded – an increase on the year before, when 59 people were badly hurt.

Overall, across Great Britain there were 127,967 road casualties in 2021 – an 11% rise on the year before – while 1,560 people were killed.

Mark Turner, chief executive of the Road Victims Trust, said: "It remains a terrible fact that four people will be killed on the roads of the UK each day, with many more suffering life-changing injuries.

"The devastation and trauma caused by these collisions is immense and it is disturbing to see a climb in the numbers of people affected."

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The RAC said the Government must do more to improve road safety.

The organisation's head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “RAC research suggests there is a huge level of concern among drivers about the standard of driving on our roads, so we urge the Government to consider reintroducing road safety targets.

“They should also look at whether the long-term decline in full-time road traffic police officers has led to a worsening in driver behaviour."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “While there has been a decline in road casualties in recent years, any fatality on our roads is a tragedy and our sympathies remain with anyone who has lost a loved one.

“Road safety is a top priority we are committed to improving through education and updates to the Highway Code that will help protect vulnerable road users, alongside our highly successful THINK! Campaign.”