West Midlands UKIP MEP James Carver is calling for the region’s rural emergency services to be protected, and also reinstated where they have been closed down, following the release of stark new figures that highlight the dangers of country roads.
The MEP says the release of new Government figures, which show that 60 per cent of road fatalities occur on rural roads, highlight the need for rural emergency services to be safeguarded from any cuts.
Figures from the Department of Transport (DoT) reveal that 862 people died and more than 7,500 were severely injured on English rural roads last year.
The statistics report that three people die, on average, each day on rural roads and that the number of people killed on country roads is almost 11 times higher than on motorways.
Commenting on the findings, Mr Carver said: “These stark new figures show the dangers of country roads.
“As someone who lives in a rural area I see the dangers of narrow and blind country lanes. I strongly believe that rural emergency services should be safeguarded from any future Government cuts.
“In Hereford and Worcester we are facing the loss of two fire engines and also dozens of dedicated full-time firefighters.
“Any cuts to these vital services could have catastrophic consequences. These new Government figures show the value of properly funded rural emergency services in the West Midlands and across the country.
“I will fight any attempts to cut emergency services service rural communities. To respond to emergencies you need emergency services on the ground.”