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vital statistics

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The number of visitors to the V&A is set to increase by 20 per cent in the current financial year - taking visitor numbers to more than 1.63 million. As a result of the surge, the DCMS and the V&A have upped visitor targets for next year to 1.65 million.

From the Thames Barrier's unveiling in 1982 to 1999, there were 65 emergency closures. In 2000, the barrier closed 24 times.

The A889 is the most dangerous road in the UK, according to the AA. On average 62 serious or fatal accidents occurred for every 1 billion km travelled between 1997 and 1999 - the eight-mile road in the Scottish Highlands racked up a total 14 times that average.

The number of UK millionaires soared in the second half of the 1990s, according to research from analysts at Datamonitor. By the end of the decade, there were 180,000 millionaires compared with just 80,000 in 1995.

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