New report shows how to bring ‘A’ roads up to minimum three-star safety standard
The report on “Engineering Safer Roads: Star Rating Roads for in-built safety” has been launched by the Road Safety Foundation, which says that an improvement of a star typically halves the cost and number of serious crashes.
The report – available here – also includes two real examples: where the road has been improved and is now saving lives and money (A404); and where improvements are needed on the UK’s persistently highest risk road (A285).
The organisation adds that with half of road deaths concentrated on just 10% of the busy main road network outside major towns and cities, targeting can pay substantial dividends.
Most safety engineering infrastructure improvements would deliver savings in road trauma for many years after installation, with a spend of £3m giving an economic return of £11m over the economic life of the investment; while some proposed interventions at specific points that might repay costs four times over. 45 deaths and serious injuries might be expected to be saved over the next 20 years on this small route, and if implemented, 100% of the route would score 3-star minimum for vehicle occupants.
“Getting the most out of existing budgets is an imperative,” says Caroline Moore, author of the Road Safety Foundation Report. “Serious road crashes are expensive and this report shows that interventions are often simple and cost effective. As central government increasingly devolves responsibility for the costs of health and long term care, there are now new reasons for local authorities to study the cost of road crashes on their road network and why bringing ‘A’ roads up to a minimum three-star standard for in-built safety in the period to 2030 makes sense.”