Shocking accident rate near Leeds schools

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Leeds has the seventh highest number of collisions near schools in the country – according to a new report.

There were 3,497 collisions within 500 metres of schools in the city between 2011 and 2013. But when weighted against population – one collision for every 645 residents – the city ranked 147th in the survey of 172 highway authorities outside London.

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. In Leeds the number of collisions involving children within 500 metres of schools has fallen from 567 (2008-2010) to 493 (2011-2013).

In the past three years, Portsmouth has seen over 1,500 collisions near 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. 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.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: “Making the roads around our schools safe for all road users and pedestrians is something we take extremely seriously and any accident is one too many. The council has been introducing 20mph schemes, concentrating on areas around schools with higher child pedestrian activity and a casualty record, and this has had a marked impact on reducing accidents.

“We have currently put a total of 93 20mph schemes in place across the city and will continue to roll this programme out on a phased basis. Dependent on the level of funding we receive, we would anticipate finishing our overall programme by approximately 2020.”

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