Alcohol and speeding were factors in more car crashes across the Harrogate district than anywhere else in North Yorkshire, new figures have shown.
A new report by North Yorkshire County Council shows that last year there were 446 crashes in Harrogate when people were injured and it was reported to police, a two per cent decrease from 2013 and the number of people killed in crashes in Harrogate fell from 12 in 2013 to seven in 2014.
The map shows that the busy junctions onto Skipton Road and Knaresborough Road are hot spots for crashes which are reported to the police.
From 2012 to 2014 44 crashes were reported to police within one kilometre of the Empress Roundabout, including five crashes on the roundabout itself and seven at the junction of Dragon Parade and Skipton Road.
In the district 72 cyclists were injured in crashes last year and the number of pedestrian casulties decreased by 24 per cent from 2013 to 2014.
“Road safety remains a priority for the county council,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Road Safety. “Every death on our roads is a death too many and we are therefore pleased that the number of fatalities is falling.”
In North Yorkshire 2.4 per cent of all crashes end in death compared to 1.1 per cent nationally, so the relative likelihood of being killed on the roads in North Yorkshire is higher than the national average, largely due to the long lengths of rural A and B roads.
Speed was a factor in 12 per cent of all car crashes which left people injured and alcohol played a part in five per cent of all crashes.
Harrogate’s most dangerous junction is the Leeds Road junction with Leadhall Lane and Hookstone Road where there was nine reported crashes from 2012 to 2014.
The troublesome junction has been the focus of much frustration in recent years as changes were made to accommodate the M&S Simply Food store, which local businesses and resident’s said led to huge tailbacks.
The council’s roadwise report says that junction improvement works have taken place to address the issues and said: “Developer led improvements to the junction were undertaken in Summer 2014 and a task group was established to deal with concerns.
A package of improvements including changing the timings of the signals to increase capacitywas completed in September 2015.”