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Britain’s most dangerous road

Britain’s most dangerous road is in Lancashire

A SHORT section of road in Lancashire tops the list of Britain’s most dangerous roads, and has killed or seriously injured nearly 100 people in the last decade, according to the latest assessment report by the Road Safety Foundation for European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP).

The death-toll on this stretch of road is the equivalent of five major rail crashes within 10 years, says the report.

The 15-mile stretch of the A682 in Lancashire, between junction 13 of the M65 and Long Preston, is Britain’s worst road section, and the only road in the highest risk category in the report. The Foundation’s latest study shows that the death and injury toll on this section of road is no better than it was in last year’s findings.

The A682 is an inconsistently maintained narrow road through attractive countryside. The built-up section of the A682 has narrow footpaths, blind corners and sprawling parking. It is, says the report, both hilly and bendy and is not well marked for motorcyclists who need road markings which guide on the ‘where you look is where you go’ principle

According to Dr Joanne Hill who heads the Foundation’s research, a further 16 road sections present a persistent ‘medium to high risk’ to road users, resulting in 10 times the number of deaths and serious injuries of the country’s best roads.

She said: ‘The good news from the survey is that many of Britain’s authorities have brought in countermeasures to tackle the higher risk routes in their areas. Most are quick, simple and cheap, involving little more than adopting modern signing, hazard markings and junction layouts.’

Vehicle-activated signs ahead of hazards have notably made a contribution on about one third of the sites. Speed cameras have been employed alongside other measures on about one third.

‘Most roads in need of treatment score poorly for one of five common collision types,’ said Hill. ‘The A682 fails on every collision type: junction and access road crashes; collisions with rigid roadside objects; overtaking crashes; pedestrian and cyclist collisions; and motorcycle crashes.’

The Foundation’s consultation with local authorities over the past four years has consistently shown that lack of funding is the principal reason why they do not tackle accident numbers on their roads on the scale that could make a major difference.

The top 10 list of Britain’s most dangerous roads is completed by: A54 Congleton to Buxton, Derbyshire; A683 from J34 of M6 to Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria; A62 from Diggle to Huddersfield; A671 from Burnley to A59 at Whalley; A653 Dewsbury to J28 of M62, Leeds; A1079 from Market Weighton to Hull; A53 Leek to Buxton; A726 from J3 of M77 to Paisley in Renfrewshire; A46 from Market Rasen to Grimsby. (EuroRAP: June 25).

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