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England 'has safest roads in UK'

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England has the safest roads in the UK and Northern Ireland the most dangerous, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

A new road safety league table from the group shows Scotland and Wales have the same rate of road deaths, higher than England.

Among the regions in England, the North East has the best record for road safety followed by the North West, while the East Midlands sits at the bottom of the table.

Neil Greig, IAM's director of policy and research, said: "While the UK is now top of the European road safety league, the risk of being killed on UK roads varies considerably around the country. Road deaths in Northern Ireland are twice that of north east England.

"Bringing the worst areas in the UK up to the same level of the best would save many more lives and reduce serious injuries. This should be a prime focus for central, devolved and local government road safety plans."

In terms of car ownership, the northern regions trail behind with less than three-quarters of households having a car. In contrast, in the South East and the South West more than 80% of households have at least one car.

Figures for 2009 show car ownership across England fell from the previous year, while it went up slightly in Scotland and remained unchanged in Wales.

© Press Association 2011