Britain’s roads are some of the most challenging in Europe, from mountain passes through to large motorways that serve a significant volume of traffic. With potholes, wildlife and all kinds of other vehicles to contend with, there’s plenty of scope for things to go wrong.
Government estimates say that there were 1,695 fatalities on British roads last year, though many more were injured. Many roads are far more dangerous than others too, accounting for a far greater share of incidents. But what are some of the UK’s most dangerous roads? Let’s take a look.
Snake Pass, A57, the Pennines
As its name suggests, the Snake Pass is an exceptionally windy road that goes from Glossop to the Ladybower Resevoir at Ashopton, otherwise known as the A57. It’s a popular road with motorcyclists, but with limited opportunities for safe overtakes, and often being quite congested, it accounts for a greater share of accidents every year than it should.
Due to the altitude the road reaches, it’s often closed in the winter months when there’s bad weather.
The A1 is one of the busiest roads in the UK, stretching from London to Edinburgh. Measuring a vast 410 miles, this combination of single-file road, dual carriageway and motorway (depending on section) is a popular route for those travelling up and down the country.
Given the number of vehicles that use the road every day, it’s no surprise that there are often incidents on it. The Rutland section is considered to be the most dangerous part of the A1.
Cat and Fiddle Road, Peak District
When any road is locally known as ‘The Widow Maker’, it never bodes well. And it’s certainly the case of the A537, or the Cat and Fiddle Road, that stretches between Macclesfield and Buxton in the Peak District, which is considered one of the UK’s most dangerous roads.
That said, it’s one of the more scenic routes you can take in England, with far-reaching views across the Peak District, and the reward of the Cat and Fiddle Inn at the summit.
Rosedale Chimney Bank, North Yorkshire
The North York Moors offer some of the most impressive scenery and views you’ll see in the UK, and are a popular attraction for walkers, as well as those who come for the fantastic driving roads.
One of the most perilous roads in the area is Chimney Bank, which drops down into the village of Rosedale. It’s only a very short stretch, but is exceptionally steep, with a climb of more than 550 feet over the 0.81-mile stretch. Due to its gradient, it’s often closed to traffic in the winter months when it can be treacherous.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have the M25. Essentially the ring road around London, given its proximity to the capital and to places such as Heathrow and Gatwick airports, it’s one of the busiest roads in the UK.
This volume of traffic brings its own dangers, with collisions being common on the M25, because a build-up of traffic brings queues which can develop quickly. Motorists should always leave a good gap between the car in front to avoid the possibility of any further collisions.