GOVERNMENT BLAMED FOR INCREASE IN ROAD DEATHS
First upsurge in road fatalities for a decade is down to poor political leadership, says Transport Select Committee
The report on road safety, published today, also registers alarm that so many cyclists are killed or injured on Britain's roads, and that road fatalities are the biggest killer of adults aged 16-24.
In 2011 there were 51 more deaths on the road (the most recent published figures) compared with 2010 and, says the committee, "the evidence we gathered suggests the principal factor in improving road safety is robust political leadership". The report also states unequivocally that the ditching of national road safety targets and the devolution of road safety responsibility to local councils is a problem, especially with deep budget cuts and reduced staff numbers at a local level.
But while the government is being criticised for its most recent performance, it is worth noting that road deaths have almost halved since 2003, last year's increase notwithstanding.
Pics: Robin Stott and John Firth