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A-road overhaul to prevent around 1,450 deaths and injuries

A £100m programme to revamp the riskiest A roads in England is on track to prevent almost 1,450 deaths and serious injuries over the next two decades.

Black car on country road with a sharp bend warning sign

The Road Safety Foundation and RAC Foundation say the programme could bring a radical approach to rehabilitating risky roads

The Safer Roads Fund has been created by the Department for Transport to improve safety along the 48 of the riskiest stretches of council-managed A roads in the country as identified by analysis in 2016 by the Road Safety Foundation (RSF).

The Road Safety Foundation and RAC Foundation have analysed dozens of schemes that have recently qualified for the government money and say the programme could bring a radical approach to rehabilitating dangerous roads.

Rather than focusing on taking steps to improve safety after a crash has occurred, the Safe System approach uses road engineering to try to prevent crashes from happening in the first place. Measures include improving bends and junctions, and taking action to enhance visibility and signing. The analysis by the Road Safety Foundation and the RAC Foundation estimates the total value of the prevention of harm across the 48 schemes, over a 20-year period, is to be £550m.

Dr Suzy Charman, executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “Although we have seen reasonable road casualty reductions on British roads over the last two decades, 2017 saw the highest annual death toll since 2011. Finding the right funding mechanisms for safety improvements to our road infrastructure is absolutely essential if we are to break the current plateau in the number of people being killed on our roads. The Safer Roads Fund has given us a truly innovative approach to tackling risky roads.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.