It's safer on Sweden's and the Netherlands' roads, says European report
15 June 2007

It's official; UK roads are no longer the safest in Europe. That's according to a report published by the European Transport Safety Council, which highlights the poor progress the British government has made on road safety recently, compared with their European neighbours.The ETSC's first Road Safety PIN Report was released at a conference on UK road safety this week. It shows that, between 2001 and 2005, there was a modest seven per cent reduction in the overall number of UK road deaths, compared with a 25 per cent overall reduction in both Sweden and the Netherlands, and a 35 per cent improvement in France. The report also says that, over the same period, the average speed of vehicles travelling on roads governed by a 70mph speed limit has dropped by three per cent, while 60mph limited roads saw an increase in average speed of nine per cent.Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said, "we used to claim that we had the safest roads in Europe. That claim is no longer matched in reality. The UK clearly needs to do much more to reclaim its position at the top of the EU road safety league." Road Safety Minister Stephen Ladyman didn't accept the criticism, however. In response to the report, he said Britain has some of the safest roads in the world. "When assessed on the basis of fatalities per passenger kilometre," he said, "which I believe is the best indicator to use when drawing a comparison as it takes into account both the number of fatalities and level of passenger mobility, Britain is second only to Sweden."

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