England’s most dangerous roads to get £50m safety revamp
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The government has announced a £47.5m boost to road maintenance in an effort to to improve safety on 27 of England’s most dangerous roads.
Twenty-seven new schemes targeting areas across the country will be launched which includes enhancements such as re-designing junctions as well as improving signage and road markings.
The programme is designed to reduce the risk of collisions, which will in turn reduce congestion, journey times and emissions.
More than a third of the funding will go to the councils of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Newcastle to improve their infrastructure, with smaller sums being paid to other councils around England.
According to a survey last month, while significant, the funds are just a fraction of the £14bn needed to bring British roads up to their expected standard.
Conducted by the Asphalt Industry Alliance, the survey found that local authority highway teams in England and Wales only received around two-thirds of what they needed to stop local roads from further deterioration.
According to the Department for Transport, the new investment will prevent over 750 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years.
It comes as part of the 'Safer Roads Fund', which has to date spent just £100m 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 £47.5m 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 the money was 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.
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.”
The government is planning to recruit a specialised team of inspectors to build the country’s first ever Road Safety Investigation Branch, which will look at how and why incidents happen and build an enhanced understanding of how the UK can better mitigate collisions.
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