An investment of £1.2bn over the next 20 years could prevent more than 8,000 fatal and serious injuries, according to the Road Safety Foundation and Ageas.
The funding would go towards improving around 3,000 miles of roads and would also boost the UK’s economic recovery and save society almost £4.4bn over the same period, according to a new report published by the organisation.
The report, ‘Looking Back – Moving Forward’ said 60% of all deaths are concentrated on 13% of Britain’s roads. Also, there were significant reductions in the number of fatal and serious crashes on 22 routes between 2013-2015 and 2016-2018; the total number of fatal and serious crashes on these 400km of road fell by two-thirds from 251 to 86, with an estimated Net Present Value of £351m over 20 years 765km of 38 persistently higher risk rural routes have been the location of more than 1,400 fatal and serious crashes between 2013 and 2018. The value to society of preventing these would have been almost £700 million, said the document.
The data from the report has been used to update the interactive ‘Dangerous Roads Map’.
Dr Suzy Charman, Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation and author of the study, said: “This 20th annual report shows that less than 1% of roads were significantly improved between 2013-2015 and 2016-2018. This report identifies an investment package of £1.2bn… with great returns: every £1 invested should benefit society by an average of around £3.60.We’ve already demonstrated that infrastructure safety measures can be developed and implemented very quickly, providing jobs and saving lives.
“At a time when we need to boost our economic recovery and protect the NHS, what better way of saving our society an estimated £4.4 billion over the next 20 years. Let’s move forward and save lives by improving these roads.”
In his foreword to the report, Lord Whitty, Chair of the Road Safety Foundation said: “British progress has depended largely on rising European vehicle standards. It remains the case that similar advancements have not been seen in infrastructure safety. However, in 2016, government launched the Safer Roads Fund to address our highest risk ‘A’ roads in an influential step. Systemic management of infrastructure risk is now required by law elsewhere in Europe.
“Highways England and Transport for London have set ambitions that no-one should be hurt on their networks by 2040 but must now target infrastructure risks systemically along busy routes.”