ROAD safety bosses in Barnsley have set out an ambition to reduce serious and fatal collisions on the town’s roads by 50 per cent by 2030, according to plans revealed this week.
Figures released by Barnsley Council - which show data between 2012 and 2021 - reveals a significant drop in road casualties during the period.
In 2012 there were a total of 725 incidents on Barnsley roads, of which 178 - 24 per cent - resulted in fatal or serious injury.
In 2021, the number incidents had dropped by 35 per cent to 474, but the killed or serious injury (KSI) bracket remained at a similar level.
It’s this, according to the council, that will be targeted through the Barnsley Safer Road Strategy - a document that will be in place for a decade - which will see highways bosses work alongside partners, including the police and South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) to reduce serious collisions.
The Chronicle can reveal targets will be reviewed annually, with Barnsley’s six area councils also playing a role in the scheme - by discussing localised concerns - to drive down statistics.
A report, which will go before ruling cabinet members on Wednesday, said: “Despite the overall reduction in road casualties, the KSI data is erratic over the past ten years, with some significant increases in 2016.
“Overall, the Barnsley road accident trend is showing signs of flattening, with spikes in more serious and fatal road incidents.
“This is potentially due to some areas of Barnsley having a higher prevalence in KSI incidents, or the number of casualties per incidents being higher due to the type of road user (young car drivers and motorcyclist, typically male) on high-speed roads.
“Therefore, Barnsley roads are safer, but the reduction in KSI is lessening and requires a change in our approach to road safety.
“The common factor is speed and failure of the driver, to drive appropriately with regards to the road condition and their ability.
“Barnsley Council has adopted the ambition of a 50 per cent reduction in KSI casualties by 2030 to produce a target of 78 KSI or below.
“We share these ambition that any death or serious injury is one too many and the long-term goal is zero people killed or seriously injured.
“By Barnsley Council adopting these targets, it recognises its local road authority role in reducing the impact of road incidents and injury on the wider road network by taking a less top-down approach.”
In the coming years, the council will seek to supplement financial resources by ‘maximising the opportunities to draw in additional funding’ from organisations such as the Department for Transport.
According to the report, the A628 - which runs through Penistone, Millhouse Green and Thurlstone - accounted for more than a quarter of all KSI incidents between 2018 and 2021.
Coun James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, added: “Ensuring the safety of all road users is of paramount importance.
“That is why Barnsley Council are committed to taking the proactive steps necessary to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
“We’re a member of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) which aims to reduce the number of road traffic collisions and make our roads safer.
“We do this by ensuring that education, enforcement and engineering are at the forefront of our collective decision making.
“Although there will inevitably be fluctuations on yearly stats, the overall trend over the past decade is a reduction in casualties.
“We will continue to take the necessary steps to accelerate this trend and to improve the safety of our highway network for all road users.”