Lancaster road named in top three of most persistently dangerous highways in Britain

The A588 between Lancaster and Blackpool.
The A588 between Lancaster and Blackpool.

An 18-mile stretch of rural road near Lancaster has been named in the top three most persistently dangerous highways in Britain, according to a report.

The section of the A588 between Lancaster and Blackpool was listed third by the Road Safety Foundation (RSF) in a report entitled How Much Do Road Crashes Cost Where You Live?

There were 22 incidents in 2008-10, compared to 26 in 2011-13.

Some 42 per cent of accidents in the latter period involved vehicles veering off the road, while 50 per cent occurred at junctions.

Crashes on England’s major highways cost £2.1bn in the period 2011-13, according to the foundation.

This was calculated based on a number of factors, such as the response from the emergency services, insurance claims and loss of output due to injury.

The RSF concluded that reducing crashes on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) was “a moral and an economic imperative” for Highways England (HE).

Caroline Moore, author of the report, called for a greater focus on improving safety on single-carriageway routes on the SRN.

She said: “The cost of fatal and serious injury crashes on single A roads on the HE network is £19 per 1,000 vehicle kilometre travelled, against just £3 per 1,000 vehicle kilometre travelled on its motorways.

“This gives a clear understanding of where Highways England can focus its efforts to make its whole network safer overall, and address its £2.1bn crash costs.”

Top of the list was a 10-mile stretch of the A18 in Lincolnshire, followed by a four-mile stretch of the A36 in Hampshire,

Other blackspots include the A44 between Llangurig and Aberystwyth, in Mid Wales, and the A532 in Crewe.

The most improved road was named as the A70 between Cumnock and Ayr, south-west Scotland.

It saw a 94 per cent reduction in the number of fatal and serious crashes from 16 in 2008-10 to just one in 2011-13.

The RSF said safety improvements included mobile speed cameras, variable message signs to prepare motorists for junctions, cycleway extensions and road resurfacing.

The report, sponsored by Ageas UK, also highlighted a huge disparity in the cost of crashes in non-metropolitan areas to local authorities.

Four areas suffered more than half a billion pounds of economic losses in a three-year period, led by Hampshire at £631m.

It was followed by Kent (£554m), Lancashire (£544m) and Essex (£530m).