COUNCIL highways bosses have blamed reckless drivers for the high level of serious injuries and deaths on East Lancashire’s roads.

They spoke out after charity Brake highlighted Department for Transport statistics showing the continuing high toll of casualties.

The figures revealed three people died and 64 others were injured on Blackburn with Darwen’s roads in 2018.

They included seven child pedestrians and two on cycles who suffered serious injuries in accidents. The three deaths, all adults, included pedestrian and a cyclist.

Tory councillor Jacquie Slater and former leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Liberal Democrats David Foster called for the council to step up action on road safety highlighting the borough’s historically poor record on the issue with high levels of child casualties.

The figures released to mark today’s launch of Road Safety Week, revealed 595 people were killed or seriously injured on Lancashire County Council roads – which include those in Hyndburn, Burnley, Darwen, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale – in 2018.

The total included 45 deaths of which eight were pedestrians and six were cyclists. There were 50 children seriously injured – 37 pedestrians and 13 on bikes..

Blackburn with Darwen Council highways boss Cllr Phil Riley said: “These figures are very disappointing and they sadly reflect the very poor standard of driving often seen on the roads of our borough.

“Councils can put in in all he traffic interventions in the world but if motorists insist on driving dangerously and recklessly there will always be accidents, injuries and tragically deaths. I am talking about things like speeding and jumping red lights.”

Cllr Keith Iddon, the county council’s highway boss said: “Every death or serious injury is a tragedy. I am committed to improving road safety right across Lancashire but I cannot improve driving standards to tackle thing like motorists going through red traffic lights.”

Mr Foster, who has long campaigned for road safety improvements, said: “These figures are far too high.

“It is disappointing that the number of casualties on our roads remains at this level.

“The borough council needs to take real action on road safety.”

Cllr Slater, who represents Blackburn South and Lower Darwen, said: “One road casualty is too many. No-one on the council seems to take responsibility for this. It needs to do more to improve safety on the borough’s roads, in particular in regard to educating schoolchildren.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, revealed that 53 people are killed or seriously injured on roads in the North West every week.

He said: “These findings paint an alarming picture. We shouldn’t have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives."

Cllr Riley said Blackburn with Darwen Council conducted safe driving courses for young people and older drivers and provided road safety education in schools.