BRADFORD recorded the highest number of child road casualties in 2020, startling data has revealed.

The figures have been highlighted by road safety charity Brake. Across Yorkshire and the Humber, the highest number of casualties in 2020 – 123 - happened in Bradford, though this is a 20 per cent reduction on 2019 figures.

Across the five-year period from 2016-20, the most child road deaths and injuries -212 - were recorded in Leeds.

Latest Department for Transport figures show that 1,024 children under the age of 16 were killed or injured on the region’s roads in 2020.

An average taken from the last five years gives a figure of 1,469 which means that, on average, 28 children die or suffer injuries because of road crashes every single week.

The charity said while this is the lowest recorded number of child road casualties in the last five years, it reflects lower levels of traffic on the roads during the pandemic.

Schoolchildren in the region will today take to the streets around their schools to raise awareness of the need for safer journeys.

The children, aged between four and 11, are among more than 90,000 across the UK who are taking part in the national project which is run by Brake in partnership with insurance group esure with support from Aardman.

It will see Shaun the Sheep and his flock help youngsters learn key road safety messages and call on grown-ups to make roads safer.

For the first time, Brake has provided schools with a kids‘ manifesto for safe and healthy journeys that they can use to help them ask local and national decision-makers to address local road dangers.

The charity hopes to empower children to ask grown-ups to keep them safe near roads, including through the creation of safe spaces for them to walk and ride.

The manifesto also calls for road safety to be included in the curriculum for all schoolchildren.

Scott Williams, head of programme delivery at Brake, said: “It’s every child’s right to be able to walk in their community without fear of traffic and pollution.

“It is vital that children can walk safely in the places where they live.

“We’re delighted that so many children, schools and families are taking part in Brake’s Kids Walk 2022 and shouting out for the things they need to make safe journeys.”