ROAD crash victims across Merseyside will be remembered during a special service in Liverpool next weekend.

Organised by RoadPeace NW, it takes place at the Rankin Steps outside Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in St James' Mount, on Sunday, August 31 at 1pm.  

The service is for people who have been bereaved or injured through road crashes, together with those who support them.

There will be a minute's silence during the ceremony and five doves will be released in memory of loved ones, as each day, on average, five people are killed on Britain's roads.

The day marks the 17th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a road crash. It also marks the anniversary of the world's first motor vehicle death, that of Mary Ward in Ireland in 1869.

Among the organisers is Pauline Fielding, whose 18-year-old son was killed on Chester High Road in Neston in 1994 She has since campaigned successfully for traffic-calming measures to be put in place where the tragedy happened.

She said: "We encourage anyone who has been bereaved or injured through a road crash to join us for this remembrance and the chance to support and talk to each other after the ceremony.

"We are thankful to those who support us and to those who are working hard to reduce the number of people killed on the roads of Merseyside."

The event will be attended by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and other dignitaries as well as representatives of the emergency services and organisations which deal with and support road crash victims.

It is held on the same day as the unveiling of the Pals memorial, sculpted by Tom Murphy, who also sculpted the RoadPeace memorial in St John's Gardens.

Britain's first road death also occurred on August 17, 1896, when Bridget Driscoll was killed at Crystal Palace, with the coroner pronouncing "This must never happen again".

Since then, more than half a million people have been killed in crashes in Britain and the current annual global death toll is estimated at over 1.3 million deaths.

Such scale of loss has been described by Professor Danny Dorling, a patron of RoadPeace, as this century's biggest public health crisis with our roads the "open sewers of the 21st century".