Cities that are home to, close to, or have links to ports – like Hull and Lincoln – have much higher per capita traffic accident rates because the more trucks they attract increases traffic jams, suggests one. study.

The researchers analyzed road collisions and demographics from more than 300 urban areas in England, Wales, France, Germany and Spain.

They found that in all five countries, port cities often had higher collision rates than expected, suggesting there is a link.

In Lincoln, there were 35 percent more crashes than expected given the size of the city’s population, while in Hull, there were 22 percent more crashes.

In France, accident hot spots included the coastal towns of La Rochelle, Loirent and Marseille. In Germany, they included the port cities of Bremen and Hamburg and Regensburg on the Danube. And in Spain, Aviles, Cadiz, Gijon and Seville (port of Guadalquivir) – all maritime cities – have experienced more collisions than average.

Hot spots have also been identified in the south-east of England, in areas between London and the major ports on the coast. The worst was Woking – located between the M3 and the A3 which connect the capital to Southampton – 47% more collisions than expected depending on the size of the population.

Two towns in Kent – which are home to the towns of Dover and Medway and the Eurotunnel terminal – recorded above-normal accident rates – Maidstone (44 percent higher) and Eurostar Ashford station (43 percent of more). Crawley, near Gatwick Airport, also experienced high accident rates.

“Our study shows that there is remarkably high variability in road crash rates in cities across the UK and Europe,” said Carmen Cabrera-Arnau, PhD student, University College London.

“The collision rates in the port areas were surprisingly high and need to be investigated further. The presence of more heavy goods vehicles can be a contributing factor to more traffic congestion, ”she said.

“The ports attract heavy goods vehicles from elsewhere. If the infrastructure surrounding the port is not accommodating enough, the ports will lead to increased traffic, which is associated with more frequent traffic collisions, ”added Ms. Arnau.

Collisions were higher than expected in London and Paris – which act as hubs for miles around and therefore create huge levels of congestion – but not in major cities in less centralized countries like Spain and Germany.

“Our results can help policymakers identify priority areas for reducing road collisions and highlight areas that are below the national road safety standard and therefore should be included in upgrading strategies. government, ”said Arnau.

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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