Roads rehabilitation programme will deliver £550m ‘societal benefit’

10.11 | 16 October 2018 | | 5 comments


A £100m programme of works announced by the DfT earlier this year is on course to prevent almost 1,450 road deaths and serious injuries over the next two decades.

That is the assessment of the Road Safety Foundation and the RAC Foundation after analysis of dozens of schemes that have recently been awarded money from the Government’s Safer Roads Fund*.

The cash will be used to undertake a range of reengineering work, some of it as ‘simple and straightforward’ as putting in rumble strips, improving visibility at junctions and protecting or removing trees, poles or lighting columns

The work programme is based on the ‘Safe System’ approach which uses road engineering to try and prevent crashes from happening in the first place.

Safe System working recognises that humans are ‘error prone’ and some crashes are inevitable. To improve the survivability of these crashes roads and roadsides are reengineered to make them more forgiving when an incident occurs.

The £100m from the Safer Roads Fund is being used to improve safety along 48 of the country’s ‘riskiest stretches of council-managed A roads’.

The analysis by the Road Safety Foundation and the RAC Foundation estimates the ‘total value of the prevention of harm’ across the 48 schemes, over a 20-year period, to be £550m.

The total economic cost of the project over the 20 years will be £125 million – the initial £100 million capital investment plus £25 million of ongoing costs. Given the projected benefits of £550 million this means that for every £1 spent, there will be a societal benefit of £4.40.

The Road Safety Foundation and the RAC Foundation say this ‘demonstrates how road safety interventions can compete favourably with other major transport projects’.

Dr Suzy Charman (left), executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “The dedication of the local authority teams has been truly exceptional, and together these schemes are estimated to save around 1,450 lives and serious injuries throughout their 20-year economic life.

“Although we have seen reasonable road casualty reductions on British roads over the last two decades, 2017 saw the highest annual death toll since 2011.

“Finding the right funding mechanisms for safety improvements to our road infrastructure is absolutely essential if we are to break the current plateau in the number of people being killed on our roads.

“The Safer Roads Fund has given us a truly innovative approach to tackling risky roads.”

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “This analysis marks the point at which the schemes have been identified and the money allocated. Now the practical works can 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.”

On 13 June 2018 the Department for Transport announced the successful bids for the Safer Roads Fund which was made available to enable local authorities to improve the 50 most dangerous stretches of A roads in England.

In the event, one council decided not to apply for the funding on offer because it had already started improvement work on one of the risky roads it is responsible for, while another two stretches of road in the top 50 were treated as one for the purposes of the scheme, giving a total of 48 schemes which is the number referred to in the rest of this press release.

Click here to download the high-level report

Click here to download the full report


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    IF one looks a CRASHMAPS one will easily determine that far to many collision occur at main roundabouts and also at minor ones. Its about time some study was made to endeavour to discover why this should be. It would appear that about 30% of all collisions occur on or approaching roundabouts.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Great news on the face of it, but in my town and many others I travel through I have noticed a distinct trend to delay or ignore the maintenance of white lines that warn road users of danger.
    Under the much used advanced driver training technique of ‘more paint, more danger’ that promotes the use of paint levels and positioning to assess prospective hazards this is now being intimidated by this trend.
    Additionally many of the cycle stop lines and waiting areas are also in a poor state of repair.
    I wonder in a collision if there is a vicarious responsibility for the LA to maintain these road markings and if there would be a liability if their absence contributed to the causation!
    So yes by all means let’s improve the safety of the roads but this must be supported by a sustainable maintenance programme to guarantee gains losing the benefits

    Les Hammond, Huntingdon
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I have already mentioned the removal of hard objects to fall against for any and all two wheeled vehicle groups and where appropriate the planting of Privet hedges that could be up to or more than a metre wide and any height at all. Falling with impact at speed on Privet would be an absolute delight as opposed to being mangled on rocks or brick or stone or hard metal barriers or fencing.

    Privet could replace the hedgerow and be a lot safer and cushion the impact and reduce the degree of injury. It has other benefits for the environment in that it is friendly to birds for nesting and protection against predation and for other wildlife like bumble bees,beetles and bugs and spiders and mice and voles, kestrals, hawks and owls. So a win win situation I think.

    It could save the planet as the leaves would give off oxygen , something we all need and reduce the pollution by extracting carbon dioxide right there at the roadside.

    Answers agree or disagree only please.

    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

    Same old thing trotted out, money spent on engineering and enforcement, but nothing said about driver education or retraining!

    Kevin Barker, Preston.
    Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

    AAAaaaaaarrrggggg……. rumble strips. You have no idea what horror that rumble strips placed on the roads surface give to increasing the danger to any two wheeled rider, particularly lighter motor scooters with smaller wheels. They are one of the most dangerous road engineering hazards to negotiate with any degree of safety. Do the powers that be not realise that every bump on the road transfers itself to through the tyre and wheel and up into the suspension unit and causes that unit to compress and then release. In doing so it temporarily causes the tyre to lose contact with the roads surface!!!!!!. Not only that as such measures are speed calming they become closer and closer together as they progress making steering, braking and front end control even more difficult. No problem for the rubber and stronger suspensions on car tyres but lethal for much lighter two wheeled vehicles.

    The vast majority of rumble strips are designed to be 100 metres long and to reduce speeds from 70 mph down to about 25 mph. However in some cases they are twice as long and take twice as long for he suffering scooter and some motorcycle riders who’s clenched teeth almost break with the continuous bounce from the wheels of their vehicle.

    Perhaps they can have special areas cushioned for them to fall off onto.

    Agree (7) | Disagree (2)

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