Rise in children hurt in road traffic accidents in North Yorkshire

Gazette & Herald: . .

THE number of children who have been killed or seriously injured on North Yorkshire roads has increased by more than 30 per cent.

Children who were injured or killed, from babies up to 15-year-olds, had mainly been crossing road.

A report distributed at last week’s Ryedale Area Committee meeting also highlighted a seven per cent increase in the number of older people who had been seriously injured on the regions roads between 2011 and 2012.

Members of the committee were particularly concerned about the increase in accidents concerning children, especially close to schools.

Councillor Elizabeth Shields was concerned about accidents near Norton Primary School.

She said: “I watched a young woman pushing a buggy, with a child holding her hand and they only just got across the road in time. It has not happened yet, but there is going to be an accident there.”

She urged Richard Marr, North Yorkshire County Council’s highways chief for Ryedale, to consider putting a mirror up on the corner of Church Street and Wold Street.

Councillor David Lloyd-Williams supported her suggestion and said: “Prevention is better than reaction.”

Mr Marr, however, said the council did not have the resources to put a mirror in an area which had not been the location of any serious accidents.

He said: “Fortunately, nothing has happened there. The way all highways agencies work is reactivity. The money available to us is restricted and we are trying to spend the money we have on areas where people are being injured.”

Eight areas in Ryedale have been identified as sites where numerous collisions resulting in injury have taken place over a three-year period and include Newbiggin, Finkle Street junction, and the Church Street, Norton Road and Welham Road junction, Norton, both of which have seen six collisions at the site.

The A64 by Barton Hill and Spital Bridge junction, Barton-le-Willows, and the A169/A64 roundabout at the north end of Malton had the highest number of child casualties, with four each.

However, other figures in the report showed that the number of people killed in road collisions last year across North Yorkshire was at its lowest since records began in 1990. The number of motorcyclists who had been killed between 2011 and 2012 had also fallen.

However, Mr Marr said in his report that it was too early to tell whether this is the beginning of an upturn in casualty numbers or simply random variations that should be expected from year-to-year.

Councillor Lindsay Burr called for more to be done at the Newbiggin junction, in Norton, in the light of the unveiling of plans for a new livestock market and business park.

However, Mr Marr said that should the plans go ahead, the developers will be responsible for financing road crossings from the site.

Coun Burr said: “It is absolutely disgraceful that we are going to wait because there happens to be a new planning application in Malton.”

Mr Marr said the Newbiggin, Finkle Street junction was 39th on the council’s list of high-risk sites.

Other high-risk sites in Ryedale included the A64/Scotchman Lane junction, Flaxton, the A169 Brocka Beck bend, Goathland, the A169 Saltergate bank by Horcum Woods and Strensall Road junction, West Lilling.

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