New Road Safety Foundation report highlights UK's highest risk roads
The report, which shows where the high risk roads on which road trauma and high costs are concentrated, is being unveiled at a briefing in the House of Lords today (30 June) and highlights how half of all fatal collisions occur on one-tenth of Britain’s road network. It also shows that a third of all fatal and serious collisions occur at junctions, single carriageways are six times the risk of motorways and twice that of duals, and finally that 1 in 7 primary roads represents a high risk compared to 1 in 33 non-primary.
The latest report lists the UK’s 10 persistently higher risk roads which have shown little or no change since the earlier report covering 2003-2005. Most of the higher risk roads are in the north of the country, with almost all in the North-West, Yorkshire and the Humber and the East Midlands.
Top of this year’s persistently higher risk roads is the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton, known nationally as the Cat and Fiddle. Fatal and serious collisions on this section have risen by 127% in the last three years, rising from 15 in 2003-2005 to 34 in 2006-2008, with most crashes at weekends during the summer in dry, daylight conditions. Police records show that the vast majority of casualties were motorcyclists, from outside the local area, male, and with an average age of 35.
The Road Safety Foundation report also lists the UK’s top 10 highest risk roads when collisions involving motorcyclists are excluded. Topping this list is the A18 from the A16 (Ludborough) to the A46 at Laceby in Humberside. Most of these roads are single carriageway A roads, with nine of the 10 in the North-west and Yorkshire and the Humber regions.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Dr Joanne Hill, director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: 'As the road budget becomes tighter, emphasis must be on saving lives with less. It means systematic attention to detail, prioritising treatment of the highest risk routes most likely to benefit from low-cost, high-return countermeasures.'
She added: 'There are practical examples of how, with attention to detail, some authorities are slashing the toll of death and serious injury on high risk stretches by as much as three-quarters. Simple, relatively inexpensive engineering measures, such as improvements to signing and lining, resurfacing and the layout of signals at junctions, are paying dividends and are affordable particularly when done as part of well planned routine maintenance.'