£50 million boost for safer roads across England

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Road safety improvements will be made to 27 of the most high-risk roads in England, to help prevent fatal and serious injuries

Drivers, passengers and cyclists across England will benefit from a £47.5 million injection into enhancing the safety of some of the most high-risk roads in England, the Department for Transport says. Through the third round of its Safer Roads Fund, 27 new schemes will be delivered, benefiting road users around the country by driving forward safety improvements such as re-designing junctions and improving signage and road markings.

The programme aims to reduce the risk of collisions, and in turn reduce congestion, journey times and emissions. As part of the fund, the Government says it is continuing to deliver a wide range of improvements across all roads, while working with local authorities and safety groups; 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. 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 £47.5 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.”

The allocation of the £47.5 million to 27 different schemes 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.

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, expected to prevent around 1,450 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years. According to Road Safety Foundation analysis, estimates suggest that the £47.5 million investment should prevent around a further 760 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years, with a benefit to society of £420 million. Once the whole life costs are factored in for the schemes, the overall benefit cost ratio of the investment is estimated at 7.4, meaning for every £1 invested the societal benefit would be £7.40.

This additional investment builds on the Government’s plans to recruit a specialised team of inspectors to build the country’s first ever Road Safety Investigation Branch. The team will look at how and why incidents happen and build an enhanced understanding of how we can better mitigate collisions.