Risk of road accidents higher in poorer areas of Sheffield

Wharncliffe Side.
Wharncliffe Side.
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PEOPLE living in poorer parts of Sheffield are up to 20 times more likely to become victims of road accidents, according to a city-based academic.

Sheffield University professor Danny Dorling has revealed figures comparing the total number of accidents between different areas over a 21-month period.

Neighbourhoods with the highest number of accidents were Shiregreen with 125, Woodhouse with 99, and Old Parson Cross with 82.

Meanwhile, there were just six accidents in Whirlow, Abbeydale and Wharncliffe Side, and eight in Bents Green.

Sheffield Council is proposing to allocate funding for new 20mph zones evenly between all seven community assembly areas but says it wil only impose the limit in selected neighbourhoods on a ‘worst first’ basis.

But Prof Dorling has rejected the council’s piecemeal approach and says it would be cheaper to do the whole city in one go.

He said: “Doing all the residential areas is cheapest and saves most lives.

“If we have to choose certain areas, then those with higher accident rates should be done first”

Prof Dorling’s data covers from February 2005 to November 2007.

There were 716 accidents over the period in the old Sheffield Brightside parliamentary constituency, 667 in Attercliffe, 650 in Central, 578 in Hillsborough and 553 in Heeley - compared with 294 in Hallam.

A total of 136 youngsters aged up to 16 were victims of road accidents in Brightside, 122 in Attercliffe and 110 in Central, compared with 32 in Hallam.

Star reader Brenda Titterton, of Totley, has nominated a further road for a 20mph zone.

She said: “I suggest that Greenoak Road in Totley is made into a 20mph road.

“The road is a busy one with children going to Totley Primary school and the speeds which cars - some of which belong to parents taking children to school - vans and lorries go up and down are well over 30mph.

“Also, we have a lot of older people in the flats and houses who are not too quick on their feet and several have mobility scooters.”

Sheffield Council said it cannot implement city-wide 20mph zones for residential streets because it does not have sufficient funding. Residents living in poorer areas are more at risk because homes are often closer to streets and have smaller gardens for children to play.

Traffic calming and 20mph speed limits have been implemented in Shiregreen since Professor Dorlings statistics were gathered.

■ Which streets should have 20mph speed limits? Email news@thestar.co.uk or write to Letters, The Star, York Street, S1 1PU.