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The UK Government has released a report ‘Action for Roads’ which highlights their proposals to improve road safety throughout the UK.

It is also proposing that the Highways Agency is turned into a publicly owned corporation. With road crashes costing two per cent of GDP and other countries managing infrastructure in a new way, the Road Safety Foundation’s 2013 report ‘Measuring to Manage’ calls for the new investment to be targeted so that the safety of the network is raised in a measurable way using world class techniques.

The report highlights some staggering insights, including:

  • Risk to road users is now 7 times greater on single carriageway A roads than motorways
  • 99% of motorways are rated in the ‘low risk’ category; 97% of single carriageway A roads are not
  • Britain’s economy loses more than 2% of GDP in road crashes
  • British road users pay 1% of GDP on motor insurance
  • The British economy loses more than 2% of GDP in road crashes

The report highlights typical improvements leading to major reductions in serious crashes. These include removal of roadside hazards (such as trees, rigid poles or lighting columns), the introduction of interactive warning signs, anti-skid surfacing and road studs. For junction crashes, improved layout, signing, road lining, resurfacing with high friction treatments and better tailored local speed limits were common.

The measurements of the safety of UK roads were carried out using international benchmarks developed by the European Road Assessment Programme. Chair of EuroRAP, John Dawson, comments: “With new investment, Britain can join leading countries which are raising safety in a transparent, systematic way. The British public knows the safety rating of the cars they’re buying but not their roads.”