More money is being provided to improve dangerous roads around the nation.

The Government has announced £47.5 million in funding to enhance the safety of some of the most high-risk roads in England.

Signing the way forward

This is the third round of the Safer Roads Fund, organised and distributed by the government.

This time, 27 new schemes will be delivered, benefiting road users around the country through improvements such as:

  • re-designing junctions
  • improving signage and road markings

The Government hopes the programme will lower the risk of collisions, in turn reducing congestion, journey times and emissions.

To date, £100 million has been provided through the programme 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.

For safety’s sake

Despite the plateauing of road safety statistics over the last decade, Mark Harper, transport secretary,  says that Britain’s roads remain “some of the safest in the world”.

The government has come under fire by road safety professionals for the perceived lack of commitment and improvement on the roads when it comes to casualties and deaths. This is despite huge improvements to vehicle safety standards and technological help incorporated into vehicles.

Harper stated: “We’re injecting £47.5 million 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.”

Route planning

The allocation of funding has been 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.

According to Road Safety Foundation analysis, early estimates suggest that the £47.5 million investment should prevent around 760 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years, with a benefit to society of £420 million.

Dr Suzy Charman, executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “Systematic changes have already had a big impact on road death and serious injury, for example seatbelts and airbags protect lives when crashes happen.

“In the same way we can design roads safely so when crashes occur, people can walk away. This can be done by clearing or protecting roadsides, putting in cross hatchings to add space between vehicles which provides safer junctions like roundabouts, or adding signalisation and / or turning pockets, and including facilities for walking and cycling.”

Where now

The funding has been welcomed across the board, including by the RAC.

“Redesigned junctions together with clearer signage and better road markings are integral to improving safety,” says Simon Williams, RAC road safety spokesman. However, while he is “pleased” by the announcement,  he is “keen to see its wider plans to reduce the number of fatalities as part of the long-awaited road safety strategy.”