Collisions near schools in Yorkshire city “rank high”

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A Yorkshire city has one of the highest rates of collisions near schools per population in the country, according to new data published today.

Outside London, Hull ranks second, below Portsmouth, with 1,849 collisions within 500 metres of schools between 2011 and 2013 - one accident for every 416 residents.

Two-thirds (69 per cent) of all child road collisions, including those resulting in injury and death, occur within 500 metres of British schools, according to the analysis by AXA and Road Safety Analysis, a provider of road safety research and evaluation services.

In the past three years, Portsmouth has seen over 1,500 collisions within 500 metres of schools, equivalent to one accident each year for every 405 residents. Roads near schools in Hull (one per 416 residents) and Brighton and Hove (one per 426 residents) make up the top three areas when London boroughs are excluded.

Portsmouth was cited for having the most cycling collisions between 2011 and 2013 with one incident per 1,233 residents - ahead of Hull (1,596) and Brighton and Hove (1,872) who were second and third respectively.

Hull was also one of the worst highways authorities in the country for the number of child collisions within 500 metres of schools - ranking sixth in the survey.

However Hull City Council has disputed the figures, saying it has no evidence of any accident problems outside schools from injury accident data it obtains from Humberside Police.

Graham Hall, the council’s assistant city manager for highways, safety and transport, said: “Although, we welcome any road safety report, the AXA Insurance report is misleading. The reason why figures for Hull are showing as particularly high is because of the city’s demographics and the high number of schools located within a dense urban area.

“Hull actually has some of the safest roads in the country, with 20mph speed limits in force outside almost every school in the city as part Safer Routes School schemes. The council’s road safety team is continually working to increase levels of road safety awareness. We have just this week launched a pedestrian training initiative in schools, alongside the Bikeability cycle training scheme that is already delivered to 1,000 children and young people each year.”

Using new road safety data, AXA Car Insurance and Road Safety Analysis have released the Local Road Safety Index 2014 as an interactive road safety map which shows the number of incidents within a 500 metre radius of schools.

James Barclay, of AXA Car Insurance, said: “Nobody wants to hear about any child or adult injured let alone anybody who is killed as a result of a road incident. We firmly believe that by releasing data in a visual and useful way through the Local Road Safety Map, users will have a real understanding of the risk associated with their local roads.”

The highest absolute number of accidents near schools was nearly 5,799 in Birmingham, equivalent to one per 555 residents and 44th on the list. The proportion of road casualty incidents within 500 metres of schools is on the increase, according to the survey. The figures also revealed that from 2011 to 2013, there were 201 road accidents involving a child near a school every week and cycling casualties near schools increased by 13 per cent.