ACCIDENTS on roads in South Gloucestershire have reached their lowest level since the council was formed in 1996.

Figures for casualties in the region last year showed a 1.2 per cent reduction on the 2012 figures, dropping from 653 to 645.

Of the 645 injuries in 2013, 50 were recorded as serious and nine were fatal.

Chairman of the council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee Cllr Brian Allinson said the lowering total casualty figures were good news to be celebrated.

“We have always had some of the safest roads in the country and these figures continue this trend,” he said. “However, this doesn’t mean that we can afford to become complacent. Any casualty on our roads is one too many, and we are grateful to all road users for their continued efforts to take care when driving, cycling and crossing our roads.”

The council works alongside the police and other agencies to monitor where people are injured on South Gloucestershire’s road network and who is involved.

This information is used to target spending on areas with the highest accident rates and the most vulnerable road users such as children, pedestrians and cyclists.

Additional road safety audits are carried out on new highway schemes to try to ensure potential road safety problems are avoided.

The council’s road safety education team delivers education, training and publicity programmes to vulnerable road user groups, including adult and child cycle training, motorcycle safety and child pedestrian training.