SIGNIFICANTLY fewer accidents took place on South Gloucestershire’s roads in 2017, compared to the previous year, according to new data.

The figures, obtained from police accident reports, have shown the total casualty figure for 2017 was 447, a 22 per cent reduction on 2016’s 571.

Of the accidents in 2017, eight were fatal, with 34 serious casualties and 405 slight casualties.

The overall total is a historic low since South Gloucestershire became a unitary authority in 1996.

Welcoming the news, Cllr Colin Hunt, South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member responsible for transport, said: “It’s great to see that casualty rates have reduced, making South Gloucestershire’s roads some of the safest in the country.

“The council takes road safety extremely seriously and we work closely with our partners in the police, with schools and with other agencies to identify where and why road accidents happen and what can be done to prevent them.

“However, we cannot afford to become complacent. Eight fatalities is eight fatalities too many, and the council will continue to make every effort to deliver road safety training to raise awareness about this issue.”

The council continuously monitor the data, using it to target spending on areas where injury accidents occur most often.

Among the recent road safety engineering interventions carried out by the council include traffic calming and pedestrian crossing improvements on St James Street/Cossham Street in Thornbury, which had nine accidents in the three years before and only three in the three years afterwards.

A reduced speed limit and lane removal on the A432 Cotswold Road in Chipping Sodbury saw only three accidents in three years, with eight in the three years beforehand.

The council also has road safety education, training and publicity team who actively deliver a wide range of services to vulnerable road users who are most likely to be involved in accidents, such as children, cyclists and motorcycle riders.

Each year the team provides road safety training sessions to thousands of people throughout South Gloucestershire including Bikeability cycle training, pedestrian training, motorcycle training and more recently a driver refresher course for over 60s in Thornbury.