Government cuts £15million from road safety campaignsPA

The government has cut spending on road safety campaigns from £19 million in 2008/09 to just £4 million in 2011/12 – a cut of nearly 80 per cent.

Furthermore, the DfT is planning on spending just £3.57 million on road safety in the 2012/13 financial year. The figure was revealed after a freedom of information enquiry by road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The breakdown of expenditure sees just £53,000 spent on cyclist safety, £1.275 million on motorcycle campaigns and £1.689 million on drink-drive campaigns.

But the IAM reveals that every fatal road accident costs the UK £1.7 million.

In 2011 the total cost of fatal road accidents was £3.2 billion, with immeasurable emotional and social costs.

IAM director of policy Neil Greig said: "Right across the public sector road safety is being cut too hard and too quickly, despite the huge returns on investment. One life saved, saves the economy £1.7 million. £53,000 is a derisory amount to spend on national cycle safety campaigns.

"Until we have the right roads infrastructure in place, publicity and education campaigns are one of the few tools we have to help us save cyclists lives. £78,000 for children's safety campaigns is virtually insignificant. If the government is serious about safety for these groups, these amounts must be increased."

Greig added: "The successful drink driving and biker campaigns have raised awareness of these issues and they both appear to be working. The government needs to match that kind of expenditure and take the safety of children and cyclists seriously."