A new analysis of road safety data that looks at the accident record of the streets within 500m of every school in the UK has made the headlines recently.
The detailed data, released by AXA Insurance, shows a large disparity between local schools in and around the Leith area. Sadly, it turns out that the streets near some local schools rank amongst the most dangerous in the country.
The figures below are based on five years of Department of Transport road safety records – between 2006 and 2011. However, there are limitations to the data too. The study does not take account of school holidays, and so to some extent the figures simply show which schools are near the most busy roads.
|St Mary's RC Primary School||258||28||89||64|
|Leith Primary School||170||23||74||19|
|Leith Walk Primary School||181||18||55||36|
|Lorne Primary School||152||16||50||29|
|Hermitage Park Primary School||60||14||22||14|
|Pilrig Park School||104||10||40||12|
|St Ninian's Primary School||58||10||9||13|
|Victoria Primary School||36||9||6||5|
|Trinity Primary School||51||9||12||7|
|Holy Cross Primary School||50||7||12||7|
|Abbeyhill Primary School||106||6||22||17|
|Drummond Comm High School||94||6||26||38|
|The Royal High Primary School||69||5||14||18|
|St Mary's Primary School||47||5||17||6|
|Royal Mile Primary School||70||4||14||19|
|Prospect Bank School||34||4||12||5|
|Craigentinny Primary School||28||3||5||6|
|Broughton Primary School||27||2||12||9|
But whilst a cynic might dismiss the initiative as a bit of a sensationalist marketing tool, AXA give the impression they’re in it for the long term. They have launched a campaign on the back of the figures to try to support parents or teachers who wish to tackle local road safety issues, and they’ve got the support of road safety charities such as BRAKE.
Amanda Edwards of AXA Insurance said: “The safety of our children is paramount to all parents and teachers. There are still far too many injuries and deaths of children while on their journey to and from school so we want to spearhead a way to analyse and develop safer environments for school children.”
Parents or teachers who want to get help to improve the neighbourhood near their school can begin by filling out the survey forms on the campaign website that you can find here.
The Evening News managed to compare this data with schools across the UK. It turns out that primary schools in Leith made up three of the most dangerous locations in Edinburgh. The area around Leith Primary School is apparently ranked joint fifth in the whole country, whilst St Mary’s RC Primary in East London Street is in the most dangerous area in Edinburgh, with the street also ranked the second worst in the country.
Responding to the figures, Transport convener Lesley Hinds told the Evening News that “the council took road safety around schools “extremely seriously”.
She said: “There is nothing in this data which indicates the collisions relate specifically to the schools themselves, as many of these collisions could have happened during the school holidays.
“The surrounding area to St Mary’s is extremely busy with vehicles, as they take up streets like Leith Walk and Broughton Street.
“Road safety around our schools is something we take extremely seriously, as shown by the number of road safety awareness initiatives we run.”
The council is currently considering introducing “School streets” that will see some roads near schools temporarily closed during pick up and drop off times.