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Progress made but ‘still much to do’ in combatting Lincolnshire’s road deaths

Almost 50 people lost their lives on Lincolnshire’s roads last year, and while numbers remain below pre-2020 levels, the local road safety partnership is keen to stress that all death and injury on our highways are avoidable.

The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership will present its annual report at a meeting of Lincolnshire County Council’s Public Protection and Communities Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday (March 19).

In 2023 there were a total of 48 deaths on Lincolnshire’s roads, which is the same figure as 2022, and eight higher than in 2021.

Steve Batchelor from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership
Steve Batchelor from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership

However, 2020 and the two years pre-COVID eclipsed 50 deaths on the roads, and the number of serious injuries were also higher before the pandemic.

A total of 378 serious injuries were reported at road traffic collisions in Lincolnshire last year, compared to 391 in 2022 and 413 in 2021.

The 2023 figure was 21% lower than 2019’s total of 480 serious injuries, and the lowest in the last five years.

A graph showing the times of day when incidents on the roads are at their highest
A graph showing the times of day when incidents on the roads are at their highest

Despite this, killed or seriously injured casualties have gone up by 5.78% from 2013 — though this is more than 10% below the national figure and among the best performing in the country.

Nearby Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire have seen increases of 15%, 20% and 25% respectively in the last decade.

These fatal collisions in Lincolnshire happened most frequently between the hours of 2pm and 5pm — typically seen as rush hour times as parents collect children from school and others prepare to leave work for the day.

A closer look into the data found that the highest percentage of casualties on Lincolnshire roads came in East Lindsey, where over 30% of the population are aged 65 and over.

This is a figure that is almost 13% higher than the national average of over 65s by area, and mature drivers were identified as one of the highest risk groups for these incidents alongside 17-24-year-olds and riders of two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles.

As for where these fatal collisions took place, close to 55% of the 48 deaths occurred on A roads, and 25% were on B roads. This means 79.55% of 2023 road fatalities in Lincolnshire were on main roads, compared to 96% in 2022.

The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP), in operation since 2000, is adopting a strategy that works around the theory of every death or serious injury on the road being preventable.

The LRSP says that “much progress has been made” in reducing road traffic collisions, but acknowledges there is “still much to do.”

One of the ways it seeks to continue bringing numbers down, in relation to killed or seriously injured (KSI) road collisions, is by working closely with Lincolnshire Police on enforcement, as well as informing and educating the public on best practice for safety.

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Some £2 million of Safer Roads Fund schemes have been delivered by the LRSP across the last 12 months, including improvements to the A18 and A1084, and over 1,000 sites are assessed using accident investigation and prevention engineering works.

This includes lower speed limits and average speed cameras on the A16 at Burrell, improving visibility at Tattersall Thorpe and enhancing signs and markings at the A157 / B1225 Burgh on Bain crossroads.

The partnership has called on a “clear political strategy for Lincolnshire” to make further improvements, and seeks to create both a vision and mission statement for the county’s road network across the coming years.

This will be done using what is called the Safe System, which implements five pillars into road safety provision.

They are safer behaviours and people, safer speeds, safer roads, safer vehicles and post-collision learning and care.

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