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British Government urged to spend £200m on ‘high risk’ roads


London, January 20, 2018

The UK road network needs an “immediate” £200m (Ksh 28.6 billion) to tackle its “high risk roads”, a road safety charity has said. The Road Safety Foundation says there is an “unacceptable” death and serious injury rate on the A537

Listing the UK’s “most dangerous roads”, the Road Safety Foundation cited “unacceptable” deaths on the A537 from Macclesfield to Buxton. The charity acknowledged the government spent £175m (Ksh 25 billion) in 2016 on the 50 most dangerous A roads in England.

The Department for Transport said it is giving record funding to councils.

Each year, the Road Safety Foundation identifies “persistently higher risk” roads which average at least one fatal or serious crash per mile along their length in the three-year survey period and have shown no improvement between 2010-12 and 2013-15.

According to the foundation, the seven-mile (12km) stretch of the A537, nicknamed locally the Cat and Fiddle, has been the most hazardous UK road six times out of the last 10 years.

A spokesperson said the single carriageway road, takes in part of the Peak District, has several sharp bends.

Police say there has been no motorcycle crashes on the A537 since January

Driving instructor Ian Brown, from Buxton in Derbyshire, witnessed a fatal collision on the A537 involving a cyclist and a car while he was taking a driving lesson in June 2016.

“It was very distressing both for me and my learner driver. Myself and a nurse tried to save him but it was clear he wouldn’t make it,” he said.

“There is a stretch which looks like a straight piece of road but it is a sharp bend that comes back on itself and that is where most of the accidents happen.”

Ten most ‘high risk’ roads:

  • A537 – Macclesfield to Buxton
  • A254 – The A28 junction in Margate to junction with A255 near Ramsgate
  • A259 – The junction with A2036 at Glyne Gap to just outside Ore
  • A588 – Lancaster to junction with A585 outside Poulton-le-Fylde
  • A6 – The junction with A585 in Lancaster to M6 junction 33
  • A32 – From M27 J10 to Delme Roundabout, Quay Street roundabout to the Gosport ferry terminal
  • A3055 – The junction with A3054 in Freshwater to junction with A3054 in Ryde
  • A21 – The junction with A2100 to junction with A259 at Hastings
  • A18 – The junction with A46 near Laceby to junction with A16 near Ludborough
  • A4 – The junction with Huntercombe Spur to junction 5 of M4

Source: The Road Safety Foundation

The Road Safety Foundation acknowledged safety improvements on the A537, but said the rate of death and serious injuries “remains unacceptable”.

A Cheshire Police spokeswoman said there have been no motorcycle crashes on the road since January and the only collision this year “involved a horse rider and a tractor”.

She added: “This reflects the work that has been done with Cheshire East Council to reduce the number of collisions, including reducing the speed limit and making the barriers safer in the event of a collision.”

Dr Suzy Charman from the Road Safety Foundation has called for more cash for road safety

The Road Safety Foundation also praised Gloucestershire County Council for its work on making the A4151 from Nailbridge to Westbury-on-Severn the “most improved road”.

Dr Suzy Charman, the foundation’s research director, said: “The UK’s local authority A road network needs an immediate injection of £200 million to tackle the high risk road sections.”

Ten most improved roads:

  • A4151 – Nailbridge to Westbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire
  • A540 – From the outskirts of Chester to the city centre
  • A14 – In Ipswich from junction 55 to 58
  • A10 – From its junction with the M25 to the North Circular Road in London
  • A535 – From Holmes Chapel to Chelford in Cheshire
  • A559 – From junction 10 of the M56 in Cheshire to Lostock Gralam
  • M25 – London’s orbital motorway junction 24 to 25
  • A6075 – From Mansfield Woodhouse to Ollerton in Nottinghamshire
  • A3100 -The A3 junction at Milford to 200m before Sandy Lane in Guildford, excluding A283 at Milford
  • A537 – From south of Knutsford to Macclesfield in Cheshire

Source: The Road Safety Foundation

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams praised the foundation for the way it highlighted road safety data.

“After years of declining road fatality and casualty rates, we have seen these plateau over the last decade and 2016 saw the highest number of people killed on UK roads since 2011,” he added.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said in addition to the £175m it allocated in 2016 it is also going to give local authorities “record” levels of funding to improve local roads and repair potholes.

She added: “It is vital councils spend this money to keep roads in good condition.”