New EuroRAP report highlights failings in safety on trans-European roads
The report by EuroRAP (the European Road Assessment Programme) provides the first comprehensive analysis of the safety of Europe's TEN-T road network and highlights wide regional variations in safety standards and investment. Overall, the trans-European road network accounts for around 20,000 deaths and serious injuries each year, which EuroRAP estimates costs EU economies €10 billion annually, excluding the cost of resulting traffic delays.
Of the 15 countries analysed in depth, Sweden, Netherlands, Great Britain and Switzerland top the league when it comes to achieving "best possible" safety levels on the TEN-T network. More than half the network length in these countries meets the "best possible" standard. Even so, most of these countries have problem sections overdue for treatment.
The top performing country in the survey is Sweden where 85% of the network length achieves the low risk rating. According to EuroRAP, Sweden has pioneered new safe designs for roads which are not motorways and has committed to upgrade safety equipment on all significant single carriageways by 2025. This provides the model for all countries where traffic is too light to upgrade major routes to motorway.
According to John Dawson, Chairman of EuroRAP, the organisation's report strengthens the case for safer road design to be adopted throughout the EU.
'Our report shows that around a third of the TEN-T has reached an acceptable safety standard but there are many more flaws than many thought. There is still a long way to go to reach a consistently high standard throughout all regions. Where new motorways can be financed, the survey shows they are paying impressive dividends in safety. Immediate attention now needs to be paid to older motorways and the safety standards of roads which will never justify motorway status or for which the wait for finance will be measured in decades,' he said.
EuroRAP's report, How Safe are you on Europe's Trade Routes? Measuring and mapping the safety of the TEN-T road network, is based on a sample which covers around half of the entire TEN-T road network spread across 15 countries in the EU and immediate neighbours. The report can be downloaded at www.eurorap.org/ten-t