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Wellington region's road safety record improving

Wellington region's road safety record improving - but could do better

Wellington region’s road safety record is climbing back gradually from the appalling statistics of 2007, but there is still a lot of work to do, says Regional Council Chair Fran Wilde.

The latest transport monitoring report, which can be downloaded at www.gw.govt.nz/amr, tracks how well the region is progressing against the Regional Land Transport Strategy. The Strategy sets targets and outcomes for public transport, walking and cycling, environmental impacts, road network efficiency, road safety, land use and transport integration and freight efficiency.

In 2008 the number of crashes resulting in injuries fell from 1,212 to 1,193 and in 2009 they fell by 15% to 1,016.

Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington and the Regional Transport Committee, says it’s encouraging that the number of injury crashes, which increased annually from 2001 to 2007, have started to come down.

“Hopefully the new regional road safety plan, which came into effect last August, will help that trend to continue. However young adults, motorcyclists and cyclists are still at high risk of being involved in a crash, with speeding and alcohol continuing to be the most prominent causes of crashes resulting in injuries,” she said.

“Wellington City and Wairarapa have worryingly high per capita crash rates. We still have a lot of work to do.”

The report also finds that more people in the Wellington region are opting to walk or cycle instead of taking their car for shorter trips of one or two kilometres.

“This kind of behaviour change is heartening and is another trend we would like to see continue,” Ms Wilde said.

The region’s public transport network got a mixed report: the 23.6 million bus trips taken during 2009/10 were about 1 percent more than the previous year and is the first patronage increase since 2006, but train trips were down 6 percent on the 2008/09 year.

“The decrease in train patronage is not surprising given the disruptions due to all the work that is under way on the rail network. Patronage should improve when our new trains come into service over the next few months and the network improvements start kicking in. But we have to make sure that services are reliable. We’re working closely with KiwiRail to make this happen.”

ENDS

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