Britain's most dangerous roads revealedFears the UK is falling behind on road safety

25 June 2007

 

A go slow sign on a road

A short section of highway in Lancashire is Britain's most dangerous road, it was revealed today.

There have been nearly 100 deaths or serious injuries in the last decade on the 15-mile stretch of the A682 amid fears that the UK is falling behind other countries on road safety.

This section of the A682, between junction 13 of the M65 and Long Preston, was the only road in the highest risk category in a report by the Road Safety Foundation for the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP).

According to Dr Joanne Hill, who heads the foundation's research, a further 16 road sections present a persistent ‘medium to high risk’ to road users, resulting in 10 times the number of deaths and serious injuries of the country's best roads.

Speed cameras

The second worst road was the A54 Congleton to Buxton in Derbyshire, with the third worst being the A683 from junction 34 of the M6 to Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria.

Dr Hill said: ‘The good news from the survey is that many of Britain's authorities have brought in countermeasures to tackle the higher risk routes in their areas.

‘Most are quick, simple and cheap, involving little more than adopting modern signing, hazard markings and junction layouts.’

Vehicle-activated signs ahead of hazards have notably made a contribution on about one third of the sites. Speed cameras have been employed alongside other measures on about one third.

Dr Hill continued: ‘Most roads in need of treatment score poorly for one of five common collision types.

‘The A682 fails on every collision type - junction and access road crashes, collisions with rigid roadside objects, overtaking crashes. pedestrian and cyclist collisions and motorcycle crashes.

‘The death-toll on this stretch of road is the equivalent of five major rail crashes within 10 years.’

Worst roads

EuroRAP chairman John Dawson said: ‘The UK is now falling behind those countries it used to lead only a few years ago because its pace in applying the results of research into safe road design lags behind the best.'

He went on: ‘Cutting road deaths requires combined action to improve driver behaviour, to improve vehicle crash performance, and to provide safety features on the roads themselves. We need five-star drivers in five-star cars on five-star roads.’

These are the worst roads:

  • A682 from junction M65 to A65 at Long Preston, Lancashire
  • A54 Congleton to Buxton, Derbyshire
  • A683 from junction 34 on the M6 to Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
  • A62 from Diggle to Huddersfield, Yorkshire
  • A671 from Burnley to A59 at Whalley, Lancashire
  • A653 Dewsbury to junction 28 of the M62 south of Leeds
  • A1079 from Market Weighton to Kingston upon Hull
  • A53 Leek to Buxton
  • A726 from junction 3 of the M77 to Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland
  • A46 from Market Rasen to Grimsby.

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