The Road Safety Foundation (RSF) has released its annual report, which calls for investment to tackle Britain’s dangerous roads.
A charity which carries out and procures research into safe road design and road safety, the RSF’s report, How safe are you on Britain’s road networks, tracks the safety of the ‘A’ roads where most of Britain’s road deaths are concentrated, and can be targeted.
In the report, it is revealed that “striking” progress has been made in Scotland; in the last three years, the risk of death and serious injury on Scotland’s roads has decreased by 7% – both on motorways and major routes.
On Scotland’s major routes, the death and serious injury rate is 13 per billion vehicle kilometres – this represents the safest in Britain and one of the safest in the world.
By contrast, the risk of death and serious injury on the road network managed by the Welsh government is almost 40% higher.
In England meanwhile, the management of major routes is being changed with a Major Road Network (MRN) being created, complementing the Strategic Road Network (SRN) – however, at 15 deaths or serious injuries per billion vehicle kilometres, England is still less safe than Scotland.
The report from the RSF reveals “disturbing” performance of the newly defined MRN – death and serious injury here is more than four times riskier to travel on than the SRN, this despite being just slightly longer and only carrying a third of the traffic on the SRN.
The RSF say that, although the opportunity to address the safety of the MRN is there, the government has yet to commit any performance goals.
Safety and reliability can be tackled though with packages of investment along whole routes identified by modern safety engineering tools.
Elsewhere, the report has identified the higher risk roads and calls for a “new tranche of high return investment from the successful Safer Roads Fund to address 75 persistently higher risk road sections identified.”