First of all I must heartily recommend this post from the As Easy As Riding A Bike blog. It is an analysis of road deaths and injuries in Horsham, based on information from the ITO website’s road casualty map. The rest of the blog is well worth a look too.
It would be interesting to see the same sort of interpretation for Crawley. If anybody does that, let me know and send me a link. If anybody wants to do the work and doesn’t have a website I’ll put it on here for them – I don’t have the inclination to do it myself at the moment.A couple of initial thoughts though. As with Horsham, the vehicle occupant deaths are predominantly on the larger roads like dual carriageways and the motorway and pedestrian deaths feature much older people. The mainjunctions of the A23 feature heavily as locations of fatal and non-fatal incidents. Cycle incidents have a couple of major hotspots at the flyover roundabout and at juntions around County Mall.
As you might expect, vehicle incidents cluster along the A23 although, to be honest, with all the reports in the local papers it would not have been surprising to see even more. Reading the locals you do sometimes get the impression that a teenager crashes their hatchback every week on the A23.
As ever, the data has been out there somewhere for ages, but it becomes so much easier to grasp visually. The map could be a useful tool for council planners to prioritise improvements, for the police to prioritise speed clampdowns and for pressure groups like the CTC to back up their cases. Just at a glance you can see that Martyrs Avenue is an accident hotspot (all those parked cars?) and that the Balcombe Road is one you want to be very careful crossing.
I am interested in the motorcycle incidents though. The ratio of fatal to non-fatal incidents is really low. For every fatal vehicle incident there are loads of non-fatal incidents. For cycle and pedestrian deaths are are fewer non-fatal incidents but for motorcycles there are relatively very few non-fatal incidents. I suspect this is down to reporting. Cycle and pedestrian incidents will get reported far less often than minor car incidents where you need a police report to help with insurance claims. As for the motorbikes, is itreally because there are very few incidents but a huge chance of an incident being fatal? It seems more likely that bikers just don’t want to report minor incidents.
I’m just glad I don’t cycle to Manor Royal from Tollgate Hill any more. The route I used to take is littered with green triangles!