As part of Britain’s ‘age of austerity’ the Government has announced drastic cutbacks in a number of areas – including the Department for Transport and its road safety projects.
£17.2m has been slashed from budgets for capital grants in road safety, as well as cuts in other major projects.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is among the voices urging the Government to reconsider and keep up vital spending on road safety measures.
IAM research revealed that since funding was put in place to acheive casualty-reduction targets in 1990, an estimated 31,000 lives have been saved – benefiting the UK economy to the tune of £50bn.
Neil Greig, IAM director of Policy and Research, said: “The impact of casualty reduction targets has been enormous. If we continue at our current rate of investment, annual road deaths in the UK could slip well below 2,000 by 2020 – a further saving of £4bn and 2,500 lives over the next decade. Punitive cuts in road safety budgets will jeopardise these huge financial and social gains.
“IAM research shows that continued investment in road safety over the next few years will produce substantial rates of return to the economy. Our message is simple: spending on road safety saves money. Fewer casualties mean reduced NHS bills, fewer people absent from work, less congestion and much lower costs associated with long-term injuries.”