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Government must set safety goals for Major Road Network, says report

The newly defined Major Road Network (MRN) has more than four times as much risk as Highways England’s Strategic Road Network (SRN) network and needs similar disciplined safety goals.

The report highlights the risk rating for the proposed Major Road Network

That’s the finding of a new report from The Road Safety Foundation and Ageas Insurance which also calls for new investment through the Safer Road Fund to address 75 persistently higher risk roads.

According to the ‘How Safe Are You on Britain’s Main Road Networks?’ report, the MRN – which will complement the SRN and comprise the most important local ‘A’ roads – carries a third of the travel on the SRN and is slightly longer but had more fatal crashes on it in 2017. The report calls for these roads to be tackled as a priority to ensure that they are as safe as should be expected of major roads, and also urges the introduction of formal safety performance management to the MRN.

The report also says that 75 persistently higher risk road sections are not yet being addressed through the Safer Roads Fund, including seven of those in the top 10 persistently higher risk rural roads.

As such, the report calls for an immediate £117m investment to prevent 3,450 fatal and serious injuries on persistently higher risk roads over the next 20 years.

And it says an £83m annual investment is needed over the next five years to address most of the unacceptably higher risk roads, preventing around 6,850 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years.

Kate Fuller, acting executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “Years of work in Scotland, coupled with widely adopted formal casualty reduction targets is delivering results, and Scotland’s main road network is now safer than England’s and significantly safer than that of Wales.

“For England to achieve similar results, the newly defined major road network – with more than four times as much risk as Highways England’s network – needs disciplined safety goals; and Government must release new funding from the successful Safer Road Fund to address the 75 persistently higher risk roads.”

To access the report, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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.