Road safety and breakdown specialists GEM Motoring Assist want the UK government to renew its focus on road safety following the publication of the annual Road Safety Performance Index from the European Transport Safety Council.

The index showed that there were more road deaths in 2019 than in 2010 with 1,926 as opposed to 1,909.

"It is vital that we all grasp the opportunity to reshape the way we use the roads. In so doing we can push road deaths into a significant and permanent decline," said GEM chief executive Neil Worth. "We used our cars less during lockdown, we walked and cycled more. Let’s ensure there is the support and the infrastructure in place to ensure we can continue to do that safely.

"If government passes up this rare opportunity and allows a return to business as usual after the pandemic, the consequences for safer road use are likely to be dire, with all the signs pointing to rising – not falling - casualty numbers.

M25 London Orbital Motorway near Junction 18 in Hertfordshire UK

"We urge the government to take a strong lead in a comprehensive new focus on safer road use. Central to this should be support for safer walking and cycling, an achievable plan for long-term reduction of transport-based CO2 emissions, more attractive schemes for car sharing and moves to enforce laws designed to support safer road use.

"This is particularly important following the frighteningly large number of speeding offences being reported as lockdowns are lifted.

"We believe a renewed commitment to safer road transport – as well as being ‘the right thing to do’ - will win the support of communities across the country."