COMMUNITY leaders in Wrexham and Flintshire have welcomed new figures relating to casualties on the region’s roads, but they say more needs to be done to improve safety.

There were 110 fewer road accidents in Flintshire involving personal injury recorded by the police in 2009 than in 2008, with a reduction from from 651 in 2008 to 541 in 2009.

In Wrexham there were 461 casualties in 2009, less than in Flintshire, but a reduction of only eight compared to 2008.

Sealand councillor Christine Jones said she was pleased but more road safety education was still needed.

“Education is the key,” she said. “You can put as many road signs up as you like but people need to be made more aware of the dangers.

“Flintshire Council has been going in to schools and colleges to educate children about the dangers of drink-driving and the need for road safety.”

Chirk North councillor Ian Roberts said: “I’m pleased with the reduction in casualties, but the A483 should be prioritised to be improved and turned into a dual carriageway. There are too many casualties on that stretch of road.

“We will always have those who are reckless so we need to manage that out by improving the road size.”

Across the whole of Wales there were 7,126 road accidents involving personal injury recorded by the police in 2009, 658 (8 per cent) fewer than in 2008.

The Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, has praised a report  entitled Road Casualties in Wales 2009. He said: “It is only right to pay tribute to all the organisations involved in road safety who have contributed to this success.

“The allocation of more than £30 million since 2007 has enabled local authorities to implement a range of road safety projects that have contributed to this downward trend of casualties.”

Cllr Dave Bithell, lead member for environment and transport in Wrexham, said: “I welcome the report and the work we’ve done to reduce the casualty rate. We have introduced initiatives such as 20mph zones near schools.”