Scotland’s safer roads in 2020

A motorist had a lucky escape this morning after an accident opposite Griffin Lodge B&B on Manchester Road, Huddersfield
Image: Examinerlive

To slightly contradict my headline there were actually more road deaths per head of population in Scotland than in England, at 143 compared to 1 258. With a tenth of the population, you might expect Scotland to have have only 126 deaths rather than 143.

When killed or seriously injured are combined, England has a higher incidence pro rata at 20 796 compared to 1 666 in Scotland. All things being equal, England should have had around 17 000 but had nearly 21 000.

It’s the ‘All casualties’ figures that surprise with 4 992 in Scotland and 106 634 in England. Pro rata, you’d expect England to have nearer 50 000. This indicates that accidents resulting in an injury of some kind are twice as common on England’s roads.

25 thoughts on “Scotland’s safer roads in 2020

    1. The roads were really, really quiet during the first lockdown in the Spring – early Summer of 2020 but when the lockdown was lifted and people were free to travel once again there was a noticeable decline in driving standards. It was almost as if people had forgotten how to drive during the lockdown and those who had for essential reasons driven throughout the lockdown were finding it hard to cope with the increase in traffic after a period when the they had the roads to themselves. Less noticeable during, and after, the second lockdown because we could travel within our Council area rather than being restricted to a 5-mile radius round our homes as we were in the first lockdown.

      We had just taken delivery of a new car just before the 1st lockdown was imposed. During those months of the lockdown I actually walked further than the car was driven.

      Liked by 4 people

  1. This will be down to whiplash.

    “Madame Whiplash” was a brothel Madam and
    Dominatrix who rented a flat from Norman La Mont (sic), who used taxpayer money to hire Peter Carter-Ruck to “bury” the story.

    Spanking and whipping (on the buttocks) were described by the French as the “English Vice”.

    “Whiplash” has little to do (as far as we know) with Matt Handcock “hiring” a girlfriend to work for him at £50,000 smackeroos per annum, plus side benefits.

    But hey, it will be OK. A little sleazy conduct in the most sleazy government in my lifetime, it seems is not a handicap, any more than incompetence is. In a regime where anything go’s, all misdemeanor’s are allowed, as long as you don’t end up in jail.
    A little shaggarama is NOT a drama!
    At least, unlike his boss, he hasn’t given up a journalists contact information to an old school chum, so he could be beaten up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. GO. Possibly the best post ever. . . . . . . . If not it’s up there . . .

      Not surprising High toll of accidents in England their roads are choc a block . . .


      Are they going to have “The Portrait Inspectors” knocking on you door to check if her Maj. Is up on yer wall?

      I thought Viz had gone too far with “The Bum Inspectors”. Trust the Tories not to be out done by an adult juvenile comic.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Road accidents are greater per head of population in sparsely populated areas than in cities and towns. Since Scotland has a far greater percentage of sparsely populated land area then England, there is a likelihood that road accidents per capita will be higher. I do not have the historic trends, but I recall seeing such data a number of years ago.


    1. Country roads are the most dangerous with Motorways being the safest. . . . . .
      IMHO the closer you get to London the better the road surface (on motorways) . . . . Perhaps not surprising given the higher population density, traffic levels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. More like they keep the roads in much better condition in England especially in the south, they should thank Scotland for all the oil money they have been able to take for themselves to keep their infrastructure up to date. Not bitter me, no not at all…grr.


  3. Going to throw this into the mix.

    THE Scottish Conservatives are being urged to kick out a senior Tory councillor who was revealed as the man behind a Unionist Twitter troll account.

    Will BBC Scotland reporters doorstepping DRoss asking him to comment also the said councillor.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re not trained in the philosophy of science and stuff though, and so you probably didn’t appreciate the scientific case I outlined for a gender critical approach to law and policy. And which has now been disappeared.

        So I’m only disappointed I wasn’t able to convince you of the democratic necessity of a scientific world-view. Look after yourself and make sure the woo woo doesn’t get you. 🙂


      2. Now see what you’ve done, Arty… 😀

        I think I’d better go and secure my home against the woo-woo immediately. And so had you!

        I’m slightly hampered by the fact that (being an arts graduate and having only done a general course in scientific philosophy out of interest) I’ve no idea what that is. So better just do a general ‘batten down the hatches thing’ 🤣

        Seriously, I think it’s rather sad that somebody who believes they have acquired important knowledge they need to convince their audience of seems to have absolutely no training in communicating it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “(being an arts graduate and having only done a general course in scientific philosophy out of interest)

        Wish there was an edit button!

        I should add it was years ago, and not of as much interest to me as it probably should have been. So I don’t remember details, just broad sweeps. The lectures on ethics seemed a bit more relevant.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s an excellent book, called, ‘Deep Fried Hillman Imp, Scotland’s Transport’, by Christopher Harvie, Argyll Publishing, 2001. There is an excellent foreward by Pat Kane.

    It’s more about the lack of investment in Scotland’s transport, even after devolution, the Labour London HQ’d party in Scotland, ten years at the helm, did seet FA for Scotland’s infrastructure, roads included.

    Also take a look at ‘moving image archive’ at the National Library of Scotland website, look up ‘transport’. Don’t share they are all in copyright if available to watch at all that is…depending on who made them, STV ones are often only available if you pay.

    I read somewhere that the only reason that roads were built in the highlands was so that the land thieves (who had viciously and violently thrown Scotland’s indigenous people off the land) was so they could move the masses of sheep around and get around themselves.

    Let’s also not forget Labours’ legacy of £billions of debt due to their PFI SCAM, still having to be paid, by Scottish councils. That money could be spent on improving roads and infrastructure. Oh and the Greens with their
    rhetoric of no more roads etc, they do use them don’t they and the new Forth Road bridge, which would not be there at all had they and every BritNat party got their way in voting against it.

    It’s going to take a long time and a lot of money to modernise and build on Scotland’s transport infrastructure, and that won’t happen anyway without independence because money is tight and the union is ever tightening Scotland’s belt and will continue to do so. Look at Norway’s rail system and weep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re- your comment on Norway’s rail system. I agree, ArtyHetty. However there is also what’s happening now in Norway with the E39 coastal highway project.

      “Driving the nearly 700 miles along the coastal route from the city of Kristiansand in the south to the city of Trondheim now takes about 21 hours and requires seven ferry crossings. To cut travel time in half, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has launched a nearly $40 billion transportation project that will include the world’s longest floating bridge and — perhaps — a first-of-its-kind floating underwater traffic tunnel.”

      Within the UK, Scotland by contrast has struggled to resolve the Rest and Be Thankful ‘problem’.

      Also, a visitor to Oslo today will find a wonderful new(ish) opera house; a major brand new national museum; the major brand new Munch gallery; the brand new Deichman library – all architecturally ambitious and innovative. More generally they will find waterfront re-developments involving housing, offices, hospitality and leisure elements that put the pace and scale of change in Glasgow and Edinburgh for example in the shade. All this in a city in which the visitor walking through the place cannot miss noting the presence of Norwegian subsidiaries of global companies and embassies representing countries from across the globe.

      And in the last few days it’s been announced here that the Norwegian ‘energy giant’ Equinor is the latest company to confirm its involvement in Scotland’s offshore wind leasing round. Equinor is already well established in Scotland. In addition to its involvement in North Sea oil and gas, the firm is responsible for building the world’s first offshore wind farm off the north-east coast.

      That is the same Equinor – formerly known as Statoil – which is a Norwegian state-owned (67% stake) company. Based on the profits it makes here and elsewhere in the world, it continues to pay the Norwegian government and therefore the country’s citizens an annual financial dividend.

      “The Norwegian state owns 67% of the shares in Equinor, and receives dividends in the same way as other shareholders. In 2021, expected dividend paid to the state is NOK 8.7 billion.”


      This is all part of Norway’s success ‘story’, building from Norway’s assets BUT CRUCIALLY enabled by Norway’s agency!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Don’t know about Norwegian railways – read this and weep.

        Slightly O/T

        I worked with Norwegians during the run-up to the Brexit referendum. Their opinion? “Are you British crazy?! If we could get a deal like the one you’ve got we’d be in like a shot!”

        The Norwegians seem to be doing OK ‘just’ in EFTA. Think they’ll let us join? (I did hear rumours that they would’ve vetoed a UK application because “they’d try to take over”.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes thanks Stuart, Norway is so far ahead of the backward so called UK, anyone from a different planet would think think Norway is on adifferent planet. I read quite a bit about landslides over at the landslide blog, link below, and they have reported on the Rest and be Thankful landslide, and it seems as if Scotland is back in the 1700’s re that all due to being shafted by the English government for centuries. The problem is of course, the SNP are blamed for all of this disastrous lack of safe and reliable transport infrastructure, same with the dreadful train crash on the east coast last year, as i read more it turns out that England controlled network rail had been warned for some time, that it was not safe!

        I really do not get why some people in Scotland accept the lack of investment and under investment, as well as deliberate attempts to hold Scotland back in terms of infrastructure, and environment ie renewables etc. Scotland has been kept back, but that’s putting it very lightly.

        It’s something the SNP need to shout from the rooftops, they need to tell people what the ‘union’ has not done for Scotland, and will never do.
        It’s tragic it really is, just like Africa and countries in Latin America, and the middle east, the ones with huge resources, are very often plundered by other countries, some by invasion, installing outside governments, enacting coups or, just taking in the military to start a war.

        Dave’s blog on landslides, but I have had to comment sometimes because it’s the usual misguided (BBC etc) take on things with regards to who is responsible and where the er money’ss meant to come from…I think roads are a devolved power (?), but the English govs’ legacy should mean they pay damages to Scotland for any accidents and repairs needed, it was they who left Scotland with such terrible problems in the first place.

        Sorry long comment.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this link ArtyHetty: I was unaware of this source. I travel this route c. a dozen times a year and have been diverted to the Old Military Road of a few occasions. I never fail to be amazed at the civil engineering effort being expended on this section of the A83.

      As the ‘expert’ author (Dave Petley of Sheffield University) of your linked blog acknowledges: “The scale of these engineering works, and the construction of increasingly large structures in an area that is protected, illustrate the enormous magnitude of the challenges on the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful.”

      This ‘expert’ seems highly respectful of the engineering work that has been undertake by Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland to date. It will be interesting to learn what final design option is chosen to deliver a long term solution.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just for clarity, I’ve been introducing folks to the guts of communication theory. So by all means continue to think yourselves superior to me, but the truth is I’ve probable forgotten more about how to support open democracy that most of you will ever know. It is the morally superior ignorance on display on this thread, that helps keeps Scotland imprisoned. So why not do yourselves and everyone else a big favour, and wake up to the fact the SNP has been turned into a private club for parochially minded authoritarians, a.k.a. fascists.


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