The Government has announced £47.5 million of new funding to improve safety on 27 of the country’s most dangerous roads.
Through the third round of the Safer Roads Fund, the Department for Transport (DfT) says that 27 new schemes will be delivered, driving forward safety improvements such as re-designing junctions and improving signage and road markings.
To date, £100m 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.
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 £47.5m 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.
According to Road Safety Foundation analysis, early estimates suggest that the £47.5m investment should prevent around 760 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years, with a benefit to society of £420m.
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.
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.”
She explained: “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 so that when crashes happen people can walk away, by clearing or protecting roadsides, putting in cross hatching to add space between vehicles, providing safer junctions like roundabouts or adding signalisation and/or turning pockets, and including facilities for walking and cycling.”
RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said that redesigned junctions together with clearer signage and better road markings are integral to improving safety.
However, he added: “While we’re pleased the Government is taking steps to tackle some of the country’s most dangerous routes, we remain keen to see its wider plans to reduce the number of fatalities as part of the long-awaited road safety strategy.”
The latest round of funding from Government builds on its plans to recruit a specialised team of inspectors to build the country’ 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.