FEARS have been raised over the future of road safety workers in Bradford after it emerged the department's funding will be cut at the end of this year.

And if the council's road safety team was axed, it is estimated it would take five years to rebuild the expertise staff currently possess to help keep the city's population safe from traffic.

The team is currently funded from Bradford Council's public health budget, but that is only a 'one off' arrangement for the current year.

Now councillors are calling for the service to be included in the authority's 'base' budget, meaning its income would be secure in future.

West Yorkshire based road safety charity Brake has raised concerns at the uncertain finances of the department.

Brake spokesman Joe Burns said: “It’s worrying to hear that Bradford’s road safety team’s future is in doubt.

"Disbanding the team would be a false-economy. Safe roads are essential for healthy, active, happy communities. These teams not only help make our roads safer, they’re also a cost effective investment for local authorities.

“Investment in road safety helps to prevent crashes and casualties, which devastate families and place a costly burden on health and emergency services. This investment helps ensure people can walk, cycle and live active lifestyles without being endangered.”

The team currently has 3.5 staff to cover road safety commitments for the whole city and they provide services such as pedestrian training in schools.

The situation is to be examined by councillors at a scrutiny hearing at Bradford Council tomorrow, with a report recommending the council restores a long-term funding commitment to the group.

Numbers of pedestrians, car occupants and motorcyclists who became road casualties has decreased from 2002 to 2012 in the city, though numbers of cyclists who become casualties has increased slightly.

Figures show that inner city areas are the locations where people are most likely to be injured or killed on the roads.

Government statistics back that up, showing areas of deprivation have a worse record for road safety, with children up to 20 times more likely to be hurt or killed in the areas with the worst track records, compared to the best.

It is believed that discrepancy is partly due to higher traffic density in inner city areas, poorer child supervision and fewer opportunities for children to play outside in a safe environment.