Road safety measures save lives

A new study by the Road Safety Foundation (RSF) has found that safety measures adopted on 15 roads across the UK have helped reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries by an estimated 300.

TheRSF said that simple improvements, such as new signings and markings, improved junction designs and layouts, speed enforcement and resurfacing, on the 15 roads helped cut fatal and serious-injury crashes by 62% to 190 during 2007/2009, compared with 494 in 2004/2006.

A 6.9-mile stretch of the A4128 from Great Missenden to High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire was found to be the most-improved road in the UK.

The number of fatal and serious crashes on this stretch dropped from 19 in 2004/06 to just two in 2007/09.

By contrast, the most "dangerous" road is a 7.5-mile section of the A537 from Macclesfield to Buxton in Derbyshire.

At one of the most-improved roads - a six-mile section of the A74M to junction 44 of the M6 near Carlisle - deaths and serious injuries fell from 15 in 2004/06 to two in 2007/09 following the completion of the missing link section of motorway known as the Cumberland Gap in 2008.

Dr Joanne Hill, director of RSF, said: "These are practical, largely inexpensive solutions which will pay back the costs of investment in an average of 10 weeks and go on saving lives and saving money for the nation for many years to come. Much of this remedial work can be done as part of routine maintenance.

"The lesson of the 'Cumberland Gap' is that motorways are Britain's safest roads and that there are safety dividends from upgrading deficits in safety features on busy dual carriageways."

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