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A21 in East Sussex is most persistent high-risk road on English strategic road network

The research has been published by the Road Safety Foundation, which highlights the £2.1bn cost of crashes on the English Strategic Road Network between 2011-13 – costs that exclude traffic delays.

The road safety charity’s annual report, sponsored by Ageas UK, now includes, for the first time, a map of risk for the Strategic Road Network (SRN) in England. 

The research finds that Britain’s persistently higher risk roads (2008-10 & 2011-13) are led by the A18 from Laceby to Ludborough and then the A36 from A3090 to Totton followed by the A588 from the A585 (Blackpool) to Lancaster.

Britain’s most improved roads the same periods include the A70 from Cumnock to Ayr followed by the A6187 from Castleton to the A625 an the A225 from the A21 to A25 (Sevenoaks).

On the English strategic road network, the most improved road is the 11km section of the M6 between junctions 33 and 34. Here, fatal and serious crashes reduced by 77% from 13 to 3 between the two data periods surveyed, improving the route from a low-medium risk to low risk. The improved rate of crashes on the route removed the route from being at the national investigatory level.  Improvements to the route included a major resurfacing scheme and upgrading the central barrier from metal to concrete.

The Road Safety Foundation adds that Highways England’s highest risk road is the A21 between Hurst Green and Hastings. The 23km single-carriageway route is rural, passing through several villages. Generally, the long stretches without bends or junctions are safe however there is a concentration of accidents at bends and junctions.

Lord Whitty, chairman of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “Much of the genuine progress in reducing casualties this last decade has come from safer vehicles.  Our results suggest that advances in safe vehicle design may be working better on more predictable purpose-built motorways than on the more variable higher speed single carriageways. 

“On many ‘A’ roads, the margin for human error is often small.  The largest single cause of death is from running off the road where there is often poor roadside protection, while junctions remain the largest source of serious injury where vehicle side impact protection is at its most limited.  Although we can expect improvements in vehicle collision detection systems at junctions, road infrastructure and new vehicle systems need to be developed hand in hand.” 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.