An Updated Report on Road Safety – and the Most Improved Road – in the UK

We all know that travelling on the road anywhere in the UK is relatively safe. On the whole, we have plenty of well-built and well-maintained roads which are safe and easy for travellers to use. But when it comes to overall road safety, a report by the Road Safety Foundation states that Britain loses about 2 percent of its GDP in crashes on the roads alone.

About half of the deaths on the road in the country are actually concentrated (and usually occur) on only 10 percent of UK roads

About half of the deaths on the road in the country are actually concentrated (and usually occur) on only 10 percent of UK roads

What’s more surprising, however, is the fact that about half of the deaths on the road in the country are actually concentrated (and usually occur) on only 10 percent of UK roads, and these are often the A roads located outside urban centres as well as major motorways.


The study’s findings

In the study made by the Road Safety Foundation, which spanned three years, it was found that only four areas, namely Lancashire, Hampshire, Kent, and Essex, accrued more than £500 million in losses in their economy due to road crashes that have resulted in serious physical injuries and even death. 

But, along with this somewhat negative finding comes the good news. The study also found, through a thorough analysis of Britain’s 45,000 kilometres of road, that there were some major roads that have shown plenty of improvement. According to the study, these roads were found greatly improved because of a combination of several factors, including a more straightforward and precise awareness of details on the road that make a significant impact. These details include improvements on markings on the roads, improvements on the layout of various junctions, and improvements regarding the speed limits. Improvements on crossings for pedestrians have also made a difference on these roads. Because of improvements like these, authorities have been able to reduce crashes on the roads by as much as 80 percent (on the ten sections which have shown the most improvement).


The most improved road in the UK

So the big question is, which road is now considered to be the most improved – and hence, the safest – road in the UK? The answer: the A70 in Scotland, which runs between Cumnock and Ayr. As already mentioned, the A70 has shown vast improvement in crossings for pedestrians, speed limits, markings, and junction layouts.

The study has also shown that the safest area or region in Britain when it comes to road safety is the West Midlands, which is dotted with single carriageways that offer a safer route. On the heels of this, the region which has shown the fastest improvement is Scotland, which also has a plethora of single carriageways that have been found to be beyond expectations.


The most high-risk or ‘unsafe’ road in the UK

Of course, if there is a most improved road, then it follows that there is also a most ‘unsafe’ road as well, so we won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The UK’s most ‘unsafe’ road is the A18, which runs from Laceby to Ludborough, and is located between Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

In addition, the single carriageways located in the country’s South East are the riskiest, and have even been deemed two times more unsafe than those found in the West Midlands. Other under-performers include carriageways located in the East Midlands and Wales, as well as those in the North West.


In general, single carriageway roads are actually more unsafe than motorways – as much as eight times riskier to drive on. But, as shown by the improvements on Scotland’s and the West Midlands’ carriageways, increased safety on these kinds of roads is still entirely possible.

Posted on 02 Nov 2015 in News

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