A north-east MSP has hit out at the Scottish Government after new figures revealed a rise in the number of fatal crashes.
Transport Scotland has unveiled its Reported Road Casualties 2018 document, providing confirmation of the latest figures.
The statistics show an increase in the number of fatal collisions on roads in the north-east last year, up to 19 from 14 in 2017.
North-east regional MSP Liam Kerr has called on ministers to provide more funding for roads in the area.
He said: “Any increase in the number of road deaths across Scotland is cause for great concern.
“The fact that so many of them occur on rural roads, like those in the north-east, points to an issue.
“Up and down Scotland, the SNP Government are giving councils less and less money to maintain B, C class and unclassified roads.”
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A spokesman for the Scottish Government’s transport secretary Michael Matheson insisted ministers are committed to reducing deaths on the north-east’s roads.
He said: “Road deaths are not an inevitability and they should not be expected to happen.
“We are committed to working with our partners to secure the ultimate vision established in Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 – Vision Zero – where no one is killed on our roads.”
Despite the rise in fatalities across the north-east, there was a general reduction across most categories of collision.
Ewan Wallace, head of transportation at Aberdeenshire Council and chairman of Road Safety North East Scotland (RSNES), said: “The figures released are generally positive and continue to show the downward trend we’ve been experiencing across the north-east for both reported injury road collisions and casualties.
“The unfortunate fact remains that most collisions and the resultant casualties are due to human error. This can arise from a momentary lapse in concentration through to very poor driving decisions. However, the consequences can be identical – family tragedies and lives changed forever.”
Rab Dickson, an acting director at regional transport partnership Nestrans, said: “NESTRANS and the other RSNES partners, irrespective of their organisational function and responsibilities, remain focused on promoting road safety across the north-east and working to reduce the number of collisions and casualties even further.”