A new report and ‘risk map’, published by the Road Safety Foundation, shows how the risk of being killed or seriously injured varies across the strategic road network (SRN).
The report, ‘How Safe Are England’s Strategic Roads? An Assessment of the Safety of the Strategic Road Network’, sets out to explain the types of crashes that kill and to highlight the infrastructure safety changes that can eliminate or reduce risk at weak points.
The report is published as the Infrastructure Bill, which will transform the Highways Agency into a public company operating in a commercial environment, begins the process of Parliamentary scrutiny.
The Road Safety Foundation says the changes to the Highways Agency are a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity to put safety at the centre of investment in England’s SRN’.
James Bradford, operations manager at the Road Safety Foundation, said: “This is an important time for decision-makers. There are 270 deaths a year on the strategic network which is more than all the workplace deaths in Britain for which there is a strict health and safety regime.
“The new highways company will begin operating with more deaths and injuries of its customers than any other company in Britain.
“Putting the management of safety into a commercial framework needs care. But it provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have infrastructure risks independently measured and internationally benchmarked for Parliament and public.
“Britain can join other world-leading countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand in setting clear goals for infrastructure safety and reduce the cost of saving lives.
“Our report gives a brief assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the network; what can be done to put it right; and the costs – in both human and monetary terms – of getting it wrong. Our strategic roads must be safe and fit for purpose.”
The Road Safety Foundation
The Road Safety Foundation is a UK charity advocating road casualty reduction through simultaneous action on all three components of the safe road system: roads, vehicles and behaviour.