A new scheme that aims to improve some of the UK’s most dangerous A-roads could prevent 1,450 deaths and serious injuries in 20 years, according to new research.

Ten stretches of road have been pinpointed as routes that need ‘rehabilitating’, including the A558 between Lancaster and Skippool in Lancashire, and on the A4 between junctions 5 and 7 of the M4 near Slough.

Analysis from Road Safety Foundation and motoring charity the RAC Foundation found that the safety improvements could be worth £550 million, with enhancements set to be made to 436 miles of road network.

Unlike other schemes, which improve roads once crashes have occurred, these measures will aim to prevent incidents in the first place, and reduce the likelihood of an accident becoming serious, if one was to occur.

A total of 50 separate projects have been scheduled, many of which are quite simple improvements to the roads – such as installing rumble strips to slow drivers down, making visibility better at poor junctions and by removing unnecessary signage.

The programme is expected to cost around £100 million, with the money coming from the Safer Roads Fund – part of the Department for Transport.

The number of estimated prevented fatalities and serious injuries in the next two decades comes from an individual breakdown on each separate road that’ll be improved through the scheme.

Revisions to the aforementioned A588 alone could help prevent 151 deaths and injuries, followed by 114 on the A683 between Lancaster and Kirby Lonsdale, and 91 on the A18 between Laceby and Ludborough in Lincolnshire. To put this into perspective, 1,793 people were killed on UK roads in 2017.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The real work can now start to re-engineer and rehabilitate some of the riskiest roads we have.

“The real prize from this initiative will be the evidence generated about how effective those schemes turn out to be, and the consequent ability that this will give us, we hope, to proactively and systematically set about lowering the risk profile of our roads more widely.”

Ted Welford


October 16, 2018

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