MORE than 120 residents were seriously injured on Barnsley’s roads from collisions last year, shock new figures have revealed.
Provisional figures from the Department for Transport suggests there were a total of 483 casualties in Barnsley last year, an almost ten per cent rise from 2020.
A total of 122 serious injuries were recorded across the borough – more than a 16 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure of 105.
Fewer people were killed on the town’s roads however, as five people died in comparison to nine the year prior.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “While there has been a decline in road casualties in recent years, any fatality on our roads is a tragedy and our sympathies remain with anyone who has lost a loved one.
“Road safety is a top priority we are committed to improving through education and updates to the Highway Code that will help protect vulnerable road users.”
Recently, the Chronicle revealed that just five of Barnsley’s ‘danger roads’ were put forward for immediate safety work to allay concerns from local campaigners were selected out of almost 50 suggestions from councillors.
A one-off investment of £90,000 was approved by Barnsley Council to be used for preventative measures but according to a report discussed last month, the schemes put forward would cost more than half a million pounds to complete.
Issues such as speeding near schools which prompted calls for more 20mph limits were put forward, as were improved highways maintenance schemes and traffic regulation orders (TROs) to prevent inconsiderate parking.
However, the document reveals five suggestions will be carried forward at a cost of the pre-agreed £90,000.
Refuge islands on Pontefract Road, Hoyle Mill, and on Hough Lane and Park Street, both Wombwell, will be constructed, as will a new footway on Shaw Lane, Cudworth and improved crossing on Sheffield Road, Penistone.
Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, celebrated last week after the council agreed in principle to reduce the speed limit on one the town’s busiest roads.
She posed the concerns to Barnsley Council regarding safety on the A629 Halifax Road between Ingbirchworth and Thurgoland.
The road is currently a 60mph zone, but once a traffic regulation order is put in place by the council, it will be reduced to 50mph.
She said: “I’ve been calling for this speed limit reduction alongside Couns Robert Barnard, Paul Hand Davis and John Wilson and other local campaigners.
“I’m delighted the council has listened to our concerns about the safety of vehicles emerging from Wellhouse Lane, especially during peak times with higher volumes of traffic.
“I also raised the dangers posed to motorists on the A629 by adverse weather conditions and reduced visibility, and am glad these factors have been taken into consideration during the speed limit review.”
Coun James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, said: “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 causalities.
“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."