MEMORIAL FEATURE: Garden is ‘long overdue’ says road safety partnership as county deaths hit record high

John Siddle, from the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.
John Siddle, from the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.

Among the supporters of the Lincolnshire Road Victims Memorial project is the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.

Formed in 2000, the body brings together road safety professionals from a number of organisations with a view to reducing the number of people killed and injured on Lincolnshire’s roads.

Its communications manager John Siddle described the idea of a memorial to the county’s road victims as ‘long overdue’.

He said: “We have had roadside memorials in the county for years and years.

“Some of those have fallen into disrepair for numerous reasons. It could be the family have moved away from Lincolnshire or there has had to be a road improvement by Highways so they have actually had to dig it up and destroy that memorial site which really is almost a double tragedy.”

A memorial garden would also, he said, offer a safe environment to remember those who have been lost.

“Rather than someone putting themselves at risk by the roadside to lay some flowers, there is a better way to do it,” he said. “I think this meets everyone’s requirements.”

The launch of the project comes at a time when the number of people to have died as a result of crashes on Lincolnshire’s roads by this time of year is at a record high – at 23.

However, Mr Siddle stressed that the number of collisions on the county’s roads by this time of year is at a record low.

He said: “It’s sad to say the serious ones that we have had in the first part of the year have transpired into fatals.”

Mr Siddle also warned against long-term comparisons, saying such factors as changes to road networks, road surfaces and even foliage, meant that looking back beyond five years was of no value.

He spoke about the work now going on to best understand why the start of 2016 has seen a spike in fatalities.

“We are looking at all those collisions, sifting though all those investigations, causation effects, similarities, even going back into the history of the drivers and what road safety training they have had,” he said.