RAC Cars News


The Most Dangerous Road In Britain

By raccars Published

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It passes through picturesque scenery, but the A285 at Petworth has been named the most dangerous highway in Britain, thanks to its high death toll and serious injury rate. A 12 mile stretch of the A285 and a number of other roads have been identified as reporting an 'unacceptably' high rate of accidents after research by the Road Safety Foundation.

The single carriageway involved runs north to south, from Petworth to Chichester, crossing the South Downs and joining the A27 with the A272. It is heavily used by holidaymakers and families on the way to the coast and the Goodwood estate, the site of events and festivals, including Glorious Goodwood horse racing plus the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed motoring events. However in the last few years, the number of people seriously injured and killed has risen by 16.6%, to 21 in 2010-2012 compared to 18 in 2007-2009.

The report noted that a number of the most dangerous roads in Britain pass through or skirt National Park territory. Of the 64 deaths and serious injuries that occur on British roads every day, 60% take place on rural highways. In the case of the A285, the high quantity of bends is believed to account for at least part of the problem, causing head on collisions and cars frequently running off the road.

The second most dangerous stretch of road in Britain is the A809, on a ten mile section from Glasgow to the A811, followed by the A937 for eight miles, between the A90 at Laurencekirk and Montrose. In fourth place is the A18 for ten miles in the Grimsby area, from Ludborough to Laceby, where a head on crash between a car and a lorry in April 2013 resulted in five deaths.

The 'How Safe Are You On Britain's Roads?' report was presented to the House of Lords this week, with the advisory that increased safety measures need to be implemented on the roads identified as the most dangerous. The report also commended the A404 at Amersham, from High Wycombe to Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, as the most improved road, after a the speed limit on certain sections of the road was reduced from 40mph to 30mph. Other contributing factors included vehicle activated signage, improvements to lighting and cats' eyes, new reflective bollards and resurfacing of the road.

A number of other roads previously identified as unacceptably dangerous have also improved, thanks to low cost solutions. On 15 of these, serious and fatal accidents have fallen by 80% within three years of improvement works taking place.

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