Lancaster’s roads - the country’s riskiest - to be made safer

Photo Neil Cross Cycling injury hotspots in Lancaster The Pointer Roundabout, South Road
Photo Neil Cross Cycling injury hotspots in Lancaster The Pointer Roundabout, South Road

Two of Lancaster’s three major roads will receive part of a £100m programme of works to prevent hundreds of deaths and serious injuries over the next two decades.

Described as the riskiest council managed A-roads in England, the A683, which runs from Kirkby Lonsdale to Heysham via Lancaster, and the A588, which runs from the Pointer Roundabout in Lancaster to Skippool on the Fylde, are due to be improved following an assessment by the Road Safety Foundation and the RAC Foundation.

The cash has been allocated from the Safer Roads Fund and will be used to undertake a range of reengineering work, some of it as simple and straightforward as putting in rumble strips and improving visibility at junctions and protecting or removing trees, poles or lighting columns.

According to new figures, the work would save 151 lives on the A588, and 114 on the A683 over 20 years.

Traditionally, steps are taken to improve safety after a crash has occurred, while the Safe System approach uses road engineering to try and prevent crashes from happening in the first place.

Safe System working recognises that humans are error prone and some crashes are inevitable. To improve the survivability of these crashes roads and roadsides are reengineered to make them more forgiving when an incident occurs.

This type of risk management approach is already applied in areas as diverse as medicine, mining and aviation. The £100m investment comes via the Safer Roads Fund created by the Department for Transport and is being used to improve safety along the 48 riskiest stretches of council-managed A roads in the country.