The most dangerous North East road crossings for pedestrians revealed

The North East’s most dangerous road crossings have been revealed. Over 600 accidents occur at crossings in the region each year, with over 100 people injured. And our Data Unit investigation found a zebra crossing in Sunderland was by the far the most dangerous.

There have been 14 accidents at that crossing, near the roundabout linking Broadway with Pennywell Road, in the past five years. While none were serious, it was the scene of almost three times as many accidents as any other crossing in the region. There have been five accidents in the same period at several North East crossings.

And exclusive figures show that while accidents dropped in last year, the number of people injured at crossings increased. There were 129 people injured in 2019 – the highest number in 12 years. That figure was up from 125 injuries during the previous 12 months.

Overall, 649 road accidents in the North East happened near pedestrian crossings in 2019, down from 669 in 2018. These are road accidents that happened within 50 metres of crossing and only include those where someone was injured and the incident was reported to the police. The total numbers of accidents near crossings may be much higher, as incidents where no-one has been injured as a result of a collision are not reported.

The Department for Transport, which publishes the data, also says a considerable proportion of non-fatal injury accidents are not reported to the police. In total, four people were injured at three different crossings in Sunderland, Newcastle and Northumberland. In Sunderland, the crossing you are most likely to be injured on was in North Bridge Street, Monkwearmouth, near the junction with Dundas Road.

In Newcastle, it was the crossing outside Greggs on Grainger Street and in Northumberland, it was the zebra crossing near the Red Lion Pub in Bedlington.

The Red Lion in Bedlington

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said its records showed three slight injuries at the crossing, with most of those in 2016. “Pedestrian crossings are used safely thousands of times every week in Northumberland and the risks of accident are small,” they added. “Nonetheless, the Council continues to monitor accident rates at individual locations across the county and introduce new highways safety measures where necessary.”

ChronicleLive approached the other North East councils for comment. Across Britain, 3,651 pedestrians were injured in road accidents while crossing at a pedestrian crossing. That was the highest number in a single year since records began in 2005, up from 3,603 in 2018.

Of these, 48 people were killed, 967 were seriously injured, and 2,636 were slightly injured.

The most dangerous North East road crossings for pedestrians revealedA probe has revealed the crossings linked to the most accidents in the North East

Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans said: “We need to change the way we move around our towns and cities. Too many pedestrians are still injured on or near pedestrian crossings. “As we begin to exit lockdown, the needs and safety of all road users, but especially pedestrians and other vulnerable road users must be addressed, particularly as people are walking more often since the pandemic.

“The majority of pedestrian and cycling injuries occur in built-up areas as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, with higher speed limits increasing the chance of incidents and the severity of injuries from a collision. “We want to see the UK Government implement a 20mph default speed limit on residential streets, ban pavement parking throughout England so that drivers can more easily see pedestrians crossing, and modify the Highway Code to include a hierarchy of road users with pedestrians at the top. Introducing these changes will help to make it easier for more people to walk and cycle in safety.”

Overall, there were 24,793 road accidents within 50 metres of a pedestrian crossing in 2019, down from 25,515 in 2018. The number is also likely to drop again in 2020 – during the first lockdown the number of cars on the road was around a third of normal levels, while it was around two-thirds of normal levels during the later lockdowns. Figures for the first half of 2020, covering the first lockdown, show a big drop in the number of accidents near pedestrian crossings.

In the first six months of 2019, there were 11,542 road accidents near crossings. In January to June 2020, there were 8,135, a 30% drop. The crossings, according to the Department for Transport, which had the most accidents resulting in injury

Northumberland – Hartford Road West, Bedlington, near the Red Lion Hotel – zebra crossing – four people injured Sunderland – North Bridge Street, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, near the junction with Dundas Road – non-junction light-controlled crossing – four people injured Newcastle – Grainger Street, Newcastle, near the Greggs – non-junction light-controlled crossing – four people injured

The most dangerous North East road crossings for pedestrians revealedGreggs on Grainger Street, Newcastle

Sunderland – Holmeside, Sunderland, near Subway – non-junction light-controlled crossing – three people injured

Newcastle – Jesmond Road, Jesmond, Newcastle, near the junction with Rosebery Crescent – non-junction light-controlled crossing – three people injured In the past five years, these are some of the most dangerous crossings in the North East: Sunderland – The Broadway, near the roundabout with Pennywell Road, in Sunderland – zebra crossing – 14 accidents (all slight).

Durham – Quebec Street, Langley Park, Durham, near the junction with Front Street – zebra crossing – four accidents (two serious and two slight).

Newcastle – Neville Street, Newcastle, near the Starbucks – non-junction light-controlled crossing – four accidents (one serious and three slight).

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