Britain's most dangerous roads

25 June 2007

A new report has listed the UK's most dangerous roads - and the worst has a death toll equivalent to five major rail crashes in 10 years.

The report, compiled by the Road Safety Foundation for the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP), found that the A682 between Lancashire and Yorkshire has had almost 100 deaths or serious injuries in the last decade.

The section of the road, between junction 15 of the M65 and Long Preston, was the only road in the highest risk section. The report's head researcher, Dr Joanne Hill, said that the A682 'fails on every collision type'.

These included junction and access crashes, collisions with rigid roadside objects, overtaking crashes, pedestrian and cyclist collisions and motorcycles crashes.

'The death toll on this stretch of road is the equivalent of five major rail crashes within 10 years,' she added.

The next-worst road was the A54 between Congleton and Buxton in Derbyshire, followed by the A683 from junction 34 of the M6 to Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria.

Lack of funding to blame
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the report is that shortage of road funding seems to be to blame for many deaths and injuries.

'The foundation's consultation with local authorities over the past four years has consistently shown that lack of funding is the principal reason why they do not tackle accident numbers on their roads on a scale that could make a major difference. Other local authorities have undoubtedly saved lives - often by the simple application of white paint', said Dr Hill.

EuroRAP chairman John Dawson said the UK is now lagging behind countries it used to lead not so long ago, 'because its pace in applying the results of research into safe road design lacks behind the best.'

He added 'Cutting road deaths requires combined action to improve driver behaviour to improve vehicle crash performance and to provide safety features on the roads themselves - we need five-star drivers in five-star cars on five-star roads.'

Britain's worst roads - the top 10
1. A682 from jn13 M65 in Lancashire to A65 at Long Preston, North Yorkshire;
2. A54 Congleton to Buxton, Derbyshire;
3. A683 jn34 of M6 to Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria;
4. A62 from Diggle to Huddersfield, Yorkshire;
5. A671 from Burnley to A59 at Whalley, Lancashire;
6. A653 Dewsbury to jn28 of M62 south of Leeds;
7. A1079 from Market Weighton to Kingston-upon-Hull;
8. A53 Leek to Buxton, Derbyshire;
9. A726 from jn3 of M77 to Paisley, Renfrewshire;
10. A46 from Market Rasen to Grimsby.

Do you use these roads? Why not tell us if you think they deserve their place in the UK's top 10 worst roads. If you do, why are they dangerous - is it the roads, or the drivers? Click here.

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