The Department for Transport’s announced it’s spending £47.5 million in enhancing the safety of some of the most high-risk roads in England.
Through the third round of the Safer Roads Fund, 27 new schemes will be delivered, which the government says will benefit
road users around the country by driving forward safety improvements such as redesigning junctions and improving signage and road markings, reducing the risk of collisions which will in turn reduce congestion, journey times and emissions.
As part of the fund, government says it is continuing to deliver a wide range of improvements across all roads, while working with local authorities and safety groups.
To date, £100 million has been provided through the programme to improve the 50 most dangerous roads in England, the majority of which are rural roads.
Some of the improvements already made include improved signage, safer pedestrian crossings and better designed junctions.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Britain’s roads are some of the safest in the world, but we are always looking at ways to help keep drivers and all road users safe.
“We’re injecting £47.5 million so that local councils around the country have the support they need to keep everyone safe, while reducing congestion and emissions and supporting local economies.”
The allocation of £47.5 million to 27 different schemes has been based on data independently surveyed and provided by the Road Safety Foundation. The data analysed is based on a road safety risk, looking at data on those killed and seriously injured alongside traffic levels.
The previous rounds of the Safer Roads Fund programme focused on treating the 50 highest-risk local ‘A road’ sections in England with enhanced road safety engineering interventions. The scheme is set to prevent around 1,450 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years.
According to Road Safety Foundation analysis, early estimates suggest that the £47.5 million investment should prevent around 760 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years, with a benefit to society of £420 million.
Once the whole life costs are factored in for the schemes, the overall benefit cost ratio of the investment is estimated at 7.4, meaning for every £1 invested the societal benefit would be £7.40.
Dr Suzy Charman, Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation said: “The commitment and funding announced today is transformational for road safety teams in local authorities across the country. It will allow them to proactively reduce risk and make these 27 roads safer and more inviting for all road users.
“Systematic changes have already had a big impact on road death and serious injury, for example seatbelts and airbags protect lives when crashes happen. In the same way we can design roads safely so when crashes occur, people can walk away. This can be done by clearing or protecting roadsides, putting in cross hatchings to add space between vehicles which provides safer junctions like roundabouts, or adding signalisation and / or turning pockets, and including facilities for walking and cycling.
“This additional investment builds on the government’s plans to recruit a specialised team of inspectors to build the country’s first ever Road Safety Investigation Branch. The team will look at how and why incidents happen and build an enhanced understanding of how we can better mitigate collisions.”
The government adds it follows actions already taken to improve road safety, including banning any use of handheld mobile phones behind the wheel and updating the Highway Code to introduce a hierarchy of road users, which places road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy.
The funding details are below:
(Picture – Clearview Intelligence)