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Damning Report Calls For Star Ratings On Roads In Britain

By raccars Published

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A report by the Road Safety Foundation has suggested that a star rating system could be applied to Britain's roads, to help apply safety policy. The current roads network in the UK received damning criticism in the report.

The Euro RAP report revealed that the majority of road deaths in Britain occur on just 10% of highways. If a star rating system were to be introduced, a national target of at least three stars should be applied to all A roads, with busier roads subject to a target score of four or five stars.

Furthermore, the answer to the problem could largely lie in low cost solutions - improving signage and road markings and resurfacing roads has seen improvements in accident statistics of up to 80% on 15 stretches of road in the UK. However, the difference in accident statistics in different geographical areas was highlighted in the report, with the East Midlands' major roads posting accident statistics two thirds higher than in the nearby West Midlands.

The Road Safety Foundation's engineering manager, James Bradford, cited flaws in layout as a major part of the problem, exacerbated on busier roads. The Foundation claims that risks can be measured on any stretch of road and star ratings returned, in the same way that cars are assessed and scored. Government ministers have accepted the findings of the report and are communicating with the Highways Agency and local councils, to see how a star ratings system could be applied to UK roads to drive safety policy. Similar systems are in place in other countries, which claim they have had a positive impact on road safety.

Meanwhile, the government has this week been heavily publicising its 'road revolution,' a plan to spend £15 billion on upgrading and maintaining the current roads network, which is due to commence after 2015's General Election. The programme will tackle Britain's worst areas of traffic congestion and involve the construction of hundreds of new lane miles on motorways. While the timing of the scheme has been criticised as electioneering, plans to improve certain blackspots, such as the A303 at Stonehenge, are long overdue. The A1 around Newcastle, the A47, A27 and certain roads in the Pennines are among those identified as most in need of treatment. The aim is to reduce journey times and so improve business and employment prospects nationwide.

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