Government ‘must take the lead’ to eliminate KSIs

10.14 | 8 July 2019 | |

A new report has identified ‘two clear actions’ the Government should take to deliver an immediate reduction in the number of fatal and serious collisions.

The report, How Safe Are You on Britain’s Main Road Networks?, published by the Road Safety Foundation, tracks the UK’s road safety performance across thousands of individual road sections.

The level of risk is calculated by comparing the frequency of road crashes resulting in death and serious injury on each stretch of road, with how much traffic the road is carrying.

The report says that ‘75 persistently higher risk road sections’ are not currently being addressed – and calls on the Government to release new investment through the Safer Roads Fund to improve these roads.

Launched by the DfT in January 2017, the Safer Roads Fund takes a proactive approach to work out how to reduce risk on a road.

The report calls for an ‘immediate’ £117m investment to prevent 3,450 fatal and serious injuries on persistently higher risk roads over the next 20 years. It goes on to say that an £83m annual investment is needed over the next five years to address most of the unacceptably higher risk roads, preventing around 6,850 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years.

Drivers more at risk on the Major Road Network?
The Road Safety Foundation report also reveals that 60% of road deaths between 2015 and 2017 happened on just 12.5% of the network.

Additionally, crash risk was found to be more than four times higher on the proposed Major Road Network than the Strategic Road Network.

First mooted in December 2017, the Major Road Network will form a ‘middle tier’ of the country’s busiest and important local authority ‘A’ roads, sitting between the Strategic Road Network and the rest of the local road network.

The report urges the Government to set disciplined safety goals for the Major Road Network – in line with those in place for the Strategic Road Network.

Kate Fuller, acting executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “Our main road networks need to be safe. So much of our travel is on these intensely used networks that any flaw in their in-built safety means tragedy sooner rather than later.”


High risk roads

The report identifies the A5004 in Derbyshire as the ‘most persistently higher risk road’ – where eight crashes that resulted in death or serious injury happened in three years on just a 12km stretch of road.

In contrast, the most improved road is the A11 between the A14 near Newmarket and the A134 north of Thetford.

Praise for Scotland
The report recognises the ‘significant improvement’ in Scotland – where national casualty reduction targets have been adopted.

In 2017, Scotland’s national fatality rate (per million population) fell to 27 and for the first time was lower than England (28). The rate for Wales was 33.

Kate Fuller added: “Years of work in Scotland, coupled with widely adopted formal casualty reduction targets, is delivering results and Scotland’s main road network is now safer than England’s and significantly safer than that of Wales.

“For England to achieve similar results, the newly defined major road network – with more than four times as much risk as Highways England’s network – needs disciplined safety goals; and Government must release new funding from the successful Safer Road Fund to address the 75 persistently higher risk roads.”

Kate Fuller, Acting Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation said: “Our main road networks need to be safe.  So much of our travel is on these intensely used networks that any flaw in their in-built safety means tragedy sooner rather than later.

“Years of work in Scotland, coupled with widely adopted formal casualty reduction targets is delivering results, and Scotland’s main road network is now safer than England’s and significantly safer than that of Wales.

“For England to achieve similar results, the newly defined major road network – with more than four times as much risk as Highways England’s network – needs disciplined safety goals; and Government must release new funding from the successful Safer Road Fund to address the 75 persistently higher risk roads.”

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