Friday, 26 August 2011

Leeds road casualties at an all time low

Casualty data released reveals that the number of people injured on the roads in Leeds last year reached an all time low.

The 2010 casualty total was the lowest recorded since the District was formed in 1974 and all four of the headline targets, set by national government, were either achieved or exceeded.

The total number of casualties for 2010 was 2,764, a reduction of 293 on the equivalent figures for 2009 and a reduction of 20% on the 2005-09 five year average.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development said:
“It is heartening to see these significant reductions to road casualties in Leeds. It would seem that road users are increasingly becoming aware of taking responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others on the roads.

“There is no room for complacency however. In the first 3 months of this year there were 74 people killed or seriously injured on our roads. We must remember that each and every one of these incidents has caused tragedy, heartache, pain, loss and untold suffering.

“We will ensure that all those teams involved in casualty reduction and the promotion of road safety will continue to work together to develop strategies and implement measures.

The number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions also continued to fall in 2010 with the total of 204 being 5% below the original 40% reduction target.

A total of 38 children were killed or seriously injured and the 2010 total has fallen by 58% compared with the 1994~98 average, exceeding the 50% target set.

2460 road users were slightly injured meaning that the original 10% reduction target was exceeded by some considerable margin - the rate having fallen by 46% compared with the 1994~98 average.

96 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured and this is a reduction of 51% compared with the 1994~98 average so again the target of a 50% reduction, set by government has been achieved.

Tim Draper, Leeds City Council’s Interim Influencing Travel Behaviour Manager said:

“I am pleased at the reduction in casualty levels across the district. Last School year, my team of Road Safety staff delivered education and training to over 57000 pupils from Primary, Secondary and FE colleges and this is in addition to the other work that we do promoting road safety messages to all road users.”

Notes to editors:

In March 2000, the government published its road safety strategy and casualty reduction targets for 2010 in the report Tomorrow’s roads: safer for everyone.
The targets, to be achieved by the end of 2010, compared with the average for 1994 to 1998, were:
• A 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI).
• A 50% reduction in the number of children killed or seriously injured.
• A 10% reduction in the slight casualty rate expressed as the number of people slightly injured per 100 million vehicle kilometres (100mvk).
Accident data for Leeds is collated by the accident studies team from information collected by police attending collisions where injuries are sustained.

** Casualty figures provided by the Accident Studies team. For more information on 2010 road casualty figures please visit
or email

For more information on the work of the Road Safety Promotion Unit, please visit or contact us at

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Leeds school pupils step to it

Pupils across Leeds have been putting the leg work in this year as Leeds has come out with one of the highest walking to school figures.

The annual school census results show Leeds schools having the biggest increase in walking across all English core cities except one. Between 2007 and 2011 walking to school in Leeds rose by an impressive 4.5%, meaning 3,900 more children are taking big strides and getting to school on foot every day.

The council offer continued support for safe and sustainable transport initiatives like the annual Walk to School Week in May, the child pedestrian skills training program, and walking buses.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development said:

“It is a great result that more pupils in Leeds schools are choosing to walk to school. This means ever greater numbers of children are getting more regular exercise, improving road safety awareness and skills, and spending more time with friends than if they were being driven to class.

“In transport terms there are fewer cars on the school run helping to ease congestion and improve air quality and safety around schools.”

Notes for the editor:

• The Government's annual school census reports the mode of travel to school for each pupil in the country.
• Walking in Leeds schools has risen from 47.9% in 2007 to 52.4% in 2011.
• The eight Core Cities are Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham and Manchester.
• The only better result was recorded in Bristol who increased walking by 6.1% over the same period.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Leeds young offenders make amends with environmental work

A group of young offenders, involved with the Leeds youth offending service, have been making amends for their crimes, by sprucing up local parks and woodland.

The young people aged between 14 and 18 have been working hard each week of the summer holidays to complete a wide range of environmental and conservation based tasks across the city.

Staff and volunteers from Leeds City Council’s youth offending services have been going out on a weekly basis with groups of young people to supervise them carrying out tasks for the benefit of the local community.

The young people who have been involved in a variety of crimes have been trying to make amends for their behaviour by carrying out tasks such rebuilding stone walls and steps at Middleton Park and Post Hill in Bramley, building a ‘dead hedge’ (a natural barrier created using sticks and branches) at Billy Woods in Kippax and helping to maintain the paths and gravestones in Harehills Cemetery.

All of this work has been in partnership with the council’s parks and countryside department and some of the young people have benefited from working alongside the countryside rangers and had the opportunity to learn new skills.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, said:
“These youngsters are often under a lot of pressure to return to criminal behaviour so this type of reparation work provides a positive distraction whilst doing something meaningful and developing useful skills.

“It also demonstrates to the community that these young people are willing to make amends and do something practical which makes the local area better for everyone.”

James Barton, reparation co-ordinator at Leeds youth offending service, has been involved in all the sessions and has been more than impressed with the range of work that has been carried out across the city. He said:
“Reparation is a great way for the young people we support to do something positive in their community and attempt to make amends for the offending behaviour. The work we have carried out this summer will not only improve the environment, but will hopefully encourage the young people to take pride in their neighbourhood and feel good about improving their community.”

The youth offending service is already arranging further reparation work for the young people they support to regenerate a community garden in Holbeck and repair bicycles that will be donated to charity.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

New children's centre for Roundhay opens it's doors

"Little Jack tries his hand at fishing for ducks at Roundhay children's centre."

"Spencer Dacosta and Maisie Stevens have fun playing the in the purple sand."

Families in Roundhay had fun discovering what’s on offer at their local children’s centre when it officially opened yesterday.

The Roundhay children’s centre, which is based at Gledhow primary school, held an opening event yesterday (Thursday 25 August) to welcome local families and introduce them to the services on offer. Local families and specially invited guests met the children’s centre team and took part in activities including messy play, story-telling, Music Bugs, face painting and parachute games.

The children’s centre, which has been open to the community since May 2010 and has already engaged with around 540 families from the local area and beyond, was officially opened by Leeds City Council’s director of children’s services, Nigel Richardson and Councillor Kamila Maqsood, the council’s lead member for children’s services.

Roundhay Children’s Centre offers services to support families from the moment a child is conceived to the age of 5 including outreach work, training courses and groups.

Cllr Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, said:
“Children’s centres are at the heart of what we are trying to achieve in Leeds. They provide an opportunity for families to access the vital services to help them develop and succeed.

“It is tremendous what is on offer at the new Roundhay centre. It is already proving to be a hub for the local community helping parents provide the very best start in life for their children.”

Wendy Wooler, Roundhay children’s centre services co-ordinator, said:
“I am very proud of what we have achieved since we opened, which is thanks to the dedicated team we have here. It was great to meet more families and show them all the fantastic services we have to offer.

“Our Family Outreach Workers have worked very hard in a relatively short space of time to engage with families in the community which has led to there already being 483 individual families registered with the centre.”

Family Outreach Workers offer individual support to families with children five years old or under, who either self-refer or are referred through agencies such as health, social care or private providers. There is also an opt-in door step information sharing and support service for local parents. Support offered can include parenting support, housing support, debt management and coping with domestic violence.

Parents can also attend the centre to take courses such as paediatric first aid, ESOL, infant massage and parenting courses., as well as joining group sessions at each of the centre’s linked schools (Kerr Mackie and Roundhay St John's primary schools) including; stay & play, Music Bugs and messy play. Leafield Clinic also holds a weekly well-baby clinic from the centre every Thursday morning.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713