Insurer calls for action on UK’s most dangerous roads
Insurance provider yesinsurance.co.uk is calling for action to reduce the risks posed by the UK’s most dangerous roads, such as the A682 in Yorkshire, the A54 in Derbyshire, and the A84 in Scotland.
The installation of crash barriers and realignment of junctions, combined with improvements in traffic signing and white-lining, are identified by the insurance provider as the most beneficial improvements that can be made to high-risk stretches of road.
EuroRAP, the European Road Assessment Programme, identifies the UK’s three most dangerous roads as:
-A682: identified as the most dangerous road in Britain. From junction 13 on the M65 to the A65 at Long Preston, North Yorkshire, there were 27 fatal/serious collisions on this 24 km stretch of the A682 during the survey period (2001-3).
-A54: From Congleton in Cheshire to Buxton, Derbyshire, there were 20 fatal/serious collisions on this 24 km stretch of road.
-A84: From junction 10 on the M9 to Lochearnhead in Scotland there were 29 fatal/serious collisions on this 44km stretch of the A84.
Others in the list of the highest risk roads were: the A59 Skipton to Harrogate road in Yorkshire; the A53 from Leek in Staffordshire to Buxton, Derbyshire; the A62 from Oldham to Huddersfield; the A44 from Leominster to Worcester; the A65 from Long Preston to junction 36 on the M6; and the A631 from Gainsborough to the A1103.
“The EuroRAP survey is the most accurate guide to the safety of roads in the UK, because it takes into account the amount of traffic travelling on each road, rather than being simply based on the number of accidents,” said Paul Purdy of yesinsurance.co.uk.
Full details of the EuroRAP survey can be found at http://220.127.116.11/. The website also contains a search engine which enables you to look up the EuroRAP risk ratings for individual roads in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Switzerland.
“Single carriageway roads in rural, often hilly, areas, tend to be among the most dangerous sections of road in the UK, and the risk is generally higher if the road is in or on the way to attractive destinations such as national parks,” said Paul Purdy.
“Conversely, the safest roads in the UK are typically motorways,” he said.
Despite increasing levels of traffic, road deaths in Great Britain have gradually fallen from their peak of 7,985 in 1966, to 3,201 in 2005. Measures such as changing attitudes to drink-driving and the introduction of seat belts, together with advances in car technology, have helped to bring this about.
“In our view, we are now at the point where the greatest and least expensive benefits to road safety can be achieved through better layout and signing of roads, together with improvements in the use of crash barriers,” said Paul Purdy.
The insurer, which provides both car insurance and van insurance via its website www.yesinsurance.co.uk, says that Britain’s drivers are among the safest in the world.
Latest OECD figures (surveyed in 2004) show that Great Britain was the country with the third lowest accident rates, with a rate of 5.5 deaths on the road per 100,000 of population – very close to the rates of 5.3 in Sweden and 4.9 in the Netherlands.
By comparison, the rate in the USA was a staggering 14.5 deaths per 100,000 of population. In Europe, Poland was the worst offender, with a rate of 15.0 – very similar to that of the USA. Portugal had a rate of 12.3, Spain 11.0, Italy 9.7, France 9.2, and Germany 7.1.
yesinsurance.co.uk is a trading name of yesinsurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Yesinsurance services Limited is a company of Provident Financial plc.
EuroRAP, the European Road Assessment Programme, is an international not-for-profit association registered in Belgium. Its members include motoring organisations, national and regional road authorities, and road safety experts.
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