Road Safety Background

In overall terms, the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but for pedestrians and cyclists our record is much worse. In fact pedestrians make up 22% of the UK’s road deaths – the highest percentage of any country in the EU14.

Despite the UK being safer for car occupants than Sweden and the Netherlands, our record for pedestrians and cyclists is nearly twice as bad, as shown below:

How does this affect Worthing?

On average, every year in Worthing two people are killed and over 260 injured, over 30 of them seriously. Of these, almost one in four are children and young people (under 19). Pedestrians and cyclists make up around two thirds of deaths and serious injuries, despite the vast majority of journeys being made by car.

Worthing has the highest number of deaths and serious injuries for those walking and cycling of any town in West Sussex. The numbers are almost twice as high as that of the next nearest town, Crawley, despite having a similar population size.

However the safety of our streets cannot be measured just in terms of deaths and serious injuries. There are over seven times as many collisions which result in slight injuries, and many more again which result in vehicles being damaged or written off while fortunately no-one is injured. Then there are the daily near misses which occur.

Just focusing on killed and seriously injured (KSI) figures misses the bigger picture. KSI is just the tip of the iceberg as this diagram shows..

It is the danger posed by the speed of traffic which makes older people afraid to cross the road, parents worried about letting children out on their own, and stops many adults from cycling on our roads.

In the last West Sussex Travel Survey to ask about it, the vast majority of adults said they would like to walk and cycle more:

However over 70% of respondents said that speeding in towns/housing areas was a moderate or severe problem:

Read more: What’s being done at the moment?