Hundreds of deaths and injuries could be prevented
A £100 million programme of works is on course to prevent almost 1,450 deaths and serious injuries over the next two decades on the riskiest council-managed A roads in England.
The cash has been allocated from the Safer Roads Fund and will be used to undertake a range of re-engineering work, some of it as simple and straightforward as putting in rumble strips and improving visibility at junctions and protecting or removing trees, poles or lighting columns
The work programme is unique because it used a proactive approach to work out how to reduce risk on a road.
Traditionally, steps are taken to improve safety after a crash has occurred, while the Safe System approach 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 re-engineered to make them more forgiving when an incident occurs.
This type of risk management approach is already applied in areas as diverse as medicine, mining and aviation.
The £100 million investment comes via the Safer Roads Fund created by the Department for Transport. It is being used to improve safety along the 48 of the riskiest stretches of council-managed A roads in the country as identified by analysis in 2016 by the Road Safety Foundation (RSF).
The ten stretches of road that are expected to see the greatest casualty reductions are:
|Rank||Area||Road Detail||Local authority
(for longest part of link)
|Estimated fatal and serious injuries prevented over 20 yrs|
|1||North West||A588: Lancaster – Skippool A585||Lancashire CC||151|
|2||North West||A683: Lancaster – A65 Kirkby Lonsdale||Lancashire CC||114|
|3||Yorkshire and Humber||A18: Laceby A46 – Ludborough A16||North East Lincolnshire Council||91|
|4||West Midlands||A529: Hinstock A41 – Audlem A525||Shropshire CC||68|
|5||East Midlands||A5012: A515 – A6 Cromford||Derbyshire CC||58|
|6||North West||A684: Leeming to Sedbergh||Cumbria and North Yorkshire Councils||55|
|7||South of England||A4: Bath Road M4 J7 – M4 J5||Slough BC||54|
|8||North West||A6: Lancaster – M6 J33||Lancashire CC||47|
|9||South of England||A361: Banbury – Chipping Norton A44||Oxfordshire CC||46|
|10=||North West||A581: A59 Nr Rufford – A49 Euxton||Lancashire CC||43|
|10=||East Midlands||A631: Market Rasen – Louth A16||Lincolnshire CC||43|
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, is to be £550 million.
The £100 million commitment across the 48 schemes will provide:
- 436 miles of road being targeted overall
- 300 improved bends
- 290 miles of improved roadside shoulders
- 225 improved junctions
- 150 miles of improved speed limits, enforcement and traffic calming
- 135 new or improved pedestrian crossings
- 90 miles of cleared or protected roadsides – e.g. crash barriers
- 90 miles of improved visibility and signing
- 80 miles of improved medians (hatching/wide centrelines)
- 70 miles of improved road surfaces
- 20 miles of new or improved cycle facilities
- 10 miles of new or improved footpaths
Most of the councils submitting proposals to the DfT for money from the Safer Roads Fund worked with the Road Safety Foundation to use the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) tools to take a proactive risk management approach.
This involved video surveying the roads, coding road features known to relate to crashes and their severity and using iRAP tools to direct the development of treatments.
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.
This demonstrates how road safety interventions can compete favourably with other major transport projects.
Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation, Dr Suzy Charman, who is leading the overall project, says:
“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. That means there are 1,450 families who won’t need to care for, or worse grieve for, a loved one because of this investment.
“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, which supported a pathfinder project in advance of the Safer Roads Fund, says:
“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.”
RSF Chairman Lord Whitty says:
“We must not lose momentum. The new skills and learning must be applied to other portfolios and deliver equally impressive saving of life and societal cost. I hope this short report will be seen by local authority cabinets, transport leaders and economic advisers everywhere.”
Lord Whitty will be hosting a special senior-level briefing in the House of Lords on 30th October 2018 when the charity will publish and present the Road Safety Foundation’s GB EuroRAP Results 2018. These results track the improving safety performance, or otherwise, of thousands of sections of British main roads. This year’s results have again been sponsored by Ageas UK, one of the UK’s largest motor insurers.
Calderdale A6033 Todmorden to Littleborough and Hebden Bridge to Cross Roads
Here, on two high-risk sections of road totalling nearly 14 miles, a capital spend of £2.3million is projected to save 51 fatalities and serious injuries and deliver a net present value of safety benefit of £20.6million over the next 20 years. Measures to be introduced include improved pedestrian crossings; bicycle facilities; improved junctions, surfaces, bends, medians and roadside shoulders; and cleared or protected roadsides. These measures are estimated to generate a BCR of 7.6.
Peter Stubbs, Transport Policy and Strategy Manager for Highways and Transportation for Calderdale Council says:
“The Safer Roads Fund and the expert support from the RSF have provided a real opportunity for the highways authority to change its approach towards road safety engineering. Use of the iRAP methodology has given us a more efficient and objective way to assess risk, identify potential schemes and, crucially, to develop funding bids to carry out necessary works. It has been refreshing to take a proactive approach to improving this length of road, and we plan to apply the lessons learned to other roads across Calderdale.”
Derbyshire Council A5004 from Buxton to Whaley Bridge
Proposals to improve this 7.5-mile road section include improvements to pedestrian crossings, bicycle facilities, bends, junctions, surfaces, medians, roadside shoulders and clearing or protecting roadsides.
Councillor Simon Spencer, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure for Derbyshire County Council safety says:
“Our bid put forward a very strong case for extra measures to be put in place to reduce collisions, and this new money will help us to carry out major safety improvements on three of our most challenging roads. This extra funding means that we can shortly start work on our first project, improvements to the A5004 Long Hill, and we are confident that over the next three years we will be able to implement all the schemes to improve safety for all users of all road users.”
RAC Foundation: Philip Gomm 020 7747 3486
Road Safety Foundation: Becky Hadley 020 7808 7997
This is a link to the high-level report:
This is a link to the full report:
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.
There follows below a list of all the 48 schemes benefitting from funding.
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.
The work of the Road Safety Foundation is available at: www.roadsafetyfoundation.org
The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.
The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.
All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org
|Area||Road Detail||LA (for longest part of link)||Estimated fatal and serious injuries prevented over 20 yrs|
|North West||A588: Lancaster – Skippool A585||Lancashire CC||151|
|North West||A683: Lancaster – A65 Kirkby Lonsdale||Lancashire CC||114|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A18: Laceby A46 – Ludborough A16||North East Lincolnshire Council||91|
|West Midlands||A529: Hinstock A41 – Audlem A525||Shropshire CC||68|
|East Midlands||A5012: A515 – A6 Cromford||Derbyshire CC||58|
|North West||A684: Leeming to Sedbergh||Cumbria and North Yorkshire Councils||55|
|South of England||A4: Bath Road M4 J7 – M4 J5||Slough BC||54|
|North West||A6: Lancaster – M6 J33||Lancashire CC||47|
|South of England||A361: Banbury – Chipping Norton A44||Oxfordshire CC||46|
|North West||A581: A59 Nr Rufford – A49 Euxton||Lancashire CC||43|
|East Midlands||A631: Market Rasen – Louth A16||Lincolnshire CC||43|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A6033: Hebden Bridge – Cross Roads||Calderdale Met BC||41|
|North West||A670: Ashton-under-Lyne – A62||Oldham Met BC||34|
|East Midlands||A619: Bakewell – Baslow||Derbyshire CC||33|
|East Midlands||A5004: Buxton – Whaley Bridge||Derbyshire CC||33|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A6108: Ripon – Scotch Corner||North Yorkshire CC||30|
|South of England||A290: Canterbury A28 – Seasalter A229||Kent CC||30|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A161: M180 J2 – Beckingham||North Lincolnshire Council||28|
|North West||A592: Troutbeck Bridge – M6 J40||Cumbria||27|
|South of England||A252: Charing A20 – Chilham A28||Kent CC||27|
|North West||A682: Barrowford – A65 Long Preston||Lancashire CC||26|
|East Midlands||A634: Maltby – Blyth||Nottinghamshire CC||25|
|South West||A371: Weston-super-Mare A370 – Banwell||North Somerset Council||25|
|South of England||A285: Petworth A272 – Boxgrove A27||West Sussex CC||24|
|South West||A3121: Ermington A379 – Wrangaton A38||Devon CC||23|
|North West||A537: Macclesfield – A54 Nr Buxton||Cheshire CC||22|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A161: Goole – Ealand||East Riding of Yorkshire Council||20|
|East Midlands||A1084: Brigg – Caistor||Lincolnshire CC||20|
|North West||A57: M62 J7 – Lingley Green||St Helens Met BC||18|
|South West||A3071: St Just – Penzance A30||Cornwall CC||17|
|South of England||A27: Fareham – Cosham M275||Hampshire CC||14|
|South of England||A40: Stokenchurch M40 – West Wycombe||Buckinghamshire CC||14|
|South West||A4173: Gloucester A38 – Pitchcombe A46||Gloucestershire CC||14|
|South West||A3058: Quintrell Downs – Summercourt A30||Cornwall CC||14|
|East of England||A126: Lakeside A13 – Tilbury||Thurrock BC||13|
|North East||A67: A66 Bowes – Barnard Castle||Durham CC||12|
|South West||A3123: Mullacott Cross A361 – A399||Devon CC||12|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A167: Topcliffe – A61 Carlton Miniott||North Yorkshire CC||11|
|East of England||A1303 Stowe cum Quy – Newmarket Bypass||Cambridgeshire CC||11|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A628: A616 – A629 Penistone||Barnsley Met BC||10|
|Yorkshire and Humber||A6033: Hebden Bridge – Littleborough||Calderdale Met BC||10|
|North West||A536: Lower Heath A34 – Macclesfield||Cheshire CC||8|
|South of England||A217: Reigate A25 – Gatwick A23||Surrey CC||8|
|East Midlands||A631: Bishopbridge A631 – Market Rasen||Lincolnshire CC||7|
|North East||A1290: A182 Usworth – A19 West Bolden||Sunderland BC||5|
|North West||A532: Woolstanwood A530 – Crewe Green||Cheshire CC||4|
|South of England||A36: Wigley A36 – Totton A35||Hampshire CC||4|
|South of England||A32: Fareham A27 – Gosport||Hampshire CC||2|