Pedestrian road deaths rose 6% last year

Pedestrian deaths on Britain’s roads increased by 6% last year, new figures show.

Some 407 pedestrians were killed in 2023, up from 385 during the previous 12 months, provisional Department for Transport (DfT) data shows.

A further 18,749 were injured last year.

Joyce Hickson, 89, was killed when a car collided with six pedestrians on a pavement in Church Street, Malvern, Worcestershire, on August 8 last year.

Peter Burrow, 91, of Meadow Walk in Colwall, Herefordshire was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Ruth Billingham, head of campaigns at walking charity Living Streets, said: “We all deserve to be safe on our streets. These incredibly upsetting figures show that more needs to be done to protect pedestrians.

“The next UK Government needs to prioritise safer streets if we are to prevent more people dying or having their lives changed irrecoverably by losing a loved one.”

Across all road users, a total of 1,645 people were killed in crashes in 2023, a decline of 4% from the 1,711 in 2022.

“It is a stark reminder to all parties that an updated road safety plan as well as a national roads renewal programme must be a priority for whomever forms the next government.”

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said the increase in pedestrian fatalities “should be a red flag to the Government signifying just how dangerous our roads still are”.

He went on: “It’s extremely concerning that these figures have risen in the two years since the Highway Code was changed with a view to making the roads safer for the most vulnerable users.

“We hope there isn’t a negative link between the two, but with RAC research showing a third of drivers think pedestrians now face greater danger at junctions due to the changes, there seem to be questions that need answering.

“Any number of deaths on the road is too many, so we strongly encourage the new government not to take these figures lightly and to make road safety a priority.”

An e-scooter rider being stopped by a police officer
Separate Government figures show 52 pedestrians were seriously injured in e-scooter crashes in Britain last year (Yui Mok/PA)

Separate Government figures also published on Thursday show 52 pedestrians were seriously injured in e-scooter crashes in Britain last year, with a further 132 suffering “slight” injuries.

There were no pedestrian fatalities.

A year earlier, one pedestrian was killed and 60 were seriously injured in collisions involving e-scooters.

Six e-scooter users were killed in crashes in 2023, down from 11 in 2022.

Private e-scooters cannot be legally ridden on roads or pavements in the UK, but have become a common sight, particularly in urban areas.

Trials of rental e-scooters on roads in dozens of towns and cities across England are ongoing.

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