EFFORTS to reduce the number of deaths and serious vehicle collisions particularly among motorcyclists attracted to Gwynedd’s rural roads are gearing up.
Serious traffic accident stats were recently cited by Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor, who showed there were 31 fatalities and 239 serious collisions on his constituency roads between 2016-2021.
Raising the issues in the Sennedd last week he called on the Welsh Government to boost its road safety efforts in the area.
The MS said he was contacted by concerned residents of Glan yr Afon, near Bala, following two serious accidents over two consecutive weeks in recent months.
He also said that North Wales Police data had showed the Dwyfor Meirionnydd areas had a “high level of serious and fatal accidents roads.”
Of the figures quoted, 24 of the fatalities, and 162 of the serious collisions were in the Meirionnydd area alone.
Nearly a third of the fatalities in the constituency were motorcyclists.
In 2020, North Wales Police, had reported there were 70 motorcyclists killed or seriously injured in the whole of North Wales, a -4.10% decrease from the previous year of 2019.
In a report in April, 2021, it said that motorcycle casualties were “highly represented,” and on average represent 25% of all killed or seriously injured casualties within the region based on the previous three years.
In response to the MS, the Welsh Government confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it regularly reviewed police accident data and that engineering work on road networks in the problem area was being planned.
It also pointed to ongoing motorcycle safety projects such as the police’s Operation Darwen, which aims to promote rider safety with visibility patrols carried out along notorious routes.
Mr ap Gwynfor said: “Each one of the statistics represents a person, their families, and their network of friends.
“Road safety has improved over the years, but we continue to see far too many accidents, especially involving motorcyclists.”
He added that motorcyclists, who only made up one percent of road users, were at “greater risk on rural roads” and that Meirionnydd was a “honey pot” attracting riders to the area.
He added there were “far too many accidents involving other vehicles too.” due to the area’s “windy and narrow” roads often flanked by trees .and high hedges.
As the summertime, bank holidays and school holidays loomed the MS said he feared the likelihood of seeing more fatalities was “high.”
“We need assurances now that the Government provides the necessary funds to ensure that all roads are as safe as they can be.” he said.
“We also need to have a programme of public information again raising awareness around road safety, and bike safety.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We routinely review personal injury collision data recorded by the police to inform the need for engineering measures on the trunk road network and have plans to undertake work on this stretch of road in the near future.”
“This stretch of road is also included within the scope of ‘Operation Darwen’, a campaign being run in collaboration between Welsh Government, Go Safe and the police .
“It aims to promote rider safety with high visibility patrols being carried out along key routes which have been identified as risk areas.”