This week the Road Safety Foundation (RSF) released a list of Britain’s most dangerous roads, in a report named ‘How Safe Are You On Britain’s Roads?’
The road that, according to statistics, is considered the most dangerous, is the A285 – a twelve mile stretch in West Sussex, which runs between Chichester and Petworth. This stretch of road saw a 16% increase in fatal and serious accidents between 2007 and 2012. The road topped the list of high-risk and medium-high risk roads where accident levels have significantly increased or remain unchanged.
The RSF said that safety measures that have been put in place on the A285 are not enough to tackle the dangers and a much larger intervention is necessary if the road is to be made safer.
The road second on the list is the 10 mile A809 in Glasgow, followed by an eight mile portion of the A937 in Montrose, Angus. Other roads in the top ten include (from North to South):
- A6 – from M6 junction 33 to Lancaster
- A61 – from Wakefield to M1 junction 44
- A589 – whole route around Lancaster
- A643 – from Brighouse to Morley
- A4300 – whole route though Kettering
- A18 – from Laceby to Ludborough
- A36 – from A3090 to Totton
- A285 – from A27 at Chichester to Petworth
The report also shows that on 15 roads across the UK, fatal and serious accidents have been reduced by 80% because of local councils scheduling low-cost safety improvements to run alongside routine maintenance work. Cost-wise, the significant reductions in serious accidents were worth £400 million to the economy.
As well as this, it reveals facts about other roads all over the UK:
- A-roads and motorways in the West Midlands, for example, carry the lowest risk of death and serious injury, whereas in the East Midlands it’s the highest.
- On a single carriageway road, the risk to motorists is seven times greater than on a motorway.
- A quarter of all road deaths are caused by running off the road.
- There has been a 20% reduction in the number of serious and fatal accidents on motorways.
- Motorbike riders make up only 1% of traffic on UK roads but account for 21% of fatal accidents.
- Crashes at junctions are the most common type of collision to lead to fatal injuries.
James Bradford, engineering manager for the Road Safety Foundation said:
“Authorities commonly report that many of the most effective improvements have not, surprisingly, been carried out specifically to improve road safety.
Often the pressing need to carry out very basic maintenance has initiated action and the additional safety enhancements were a later addition.
Scheduling in this way is extraordinarily cost effective; 90 per cent of routes listed contained work on resurfacing, signing and marking.
Fatal and serious crashes have been reduced by 80 per cent on 15 stretches of UK roads, which saw 237 people killed and seriously injured in the three years before the action was taken but only 52 after.”
The 3rd November saw the chairman of the RSF, Lord Whitty, released another report, entitled ‘Making Road Safety Pay’ – which was commissioned by Ageas UK – where seven road safety recommendations are made to the government. He said:
“We can no longer accept sudden, violent road death as such a significant cause of premature loss of life.
The Government must design, plan and legislate to put safety on roads on the same footing as safety in the air, sea or on rail.”