By: 18 September 2020
Ageas and Road Safety Foundation call for investment

Investment of £1.2 billion on 5,267km of roads across Britain could prevent more than 8,000 deaths and serious injuries over the next 20 years, according to a new report from the Road Safety Foundation and Ageas.

The report, Looking Back – Moving Forward, claims that the value to society of preventing these 8,000 deaths and serious injuries over 20 years is forecast to be more than £4 billion, including the cost to the NHS, long-term care, fire, police, ambulance, and the courts.

Now in its 20th year and supported by Ageas since 2012, this annual report examines the performance of Britain’s motorway and ‘A’ road network, identifying the roads where lives could be saved with physical improvements.

This year’s findings show that:

  • 60% of all deaths are concentrated on around 13% of Britain’s roads
  • There were significant reductions in the numbers of fatal and serious crashes on 22 routes between 2013 and 2015 and 2016 and 2018
  • The total number of fatal and serious crashes on these 400km of road fell by two-thirds from 251 to 86, with an estimated net present value of £351 million over 20 years
  • 765km of 38 persistently higher risk rural routes were the location of more than 1,400 fatal and serious crashes between 2013 and 2018. The value to society of preventing these would have been almost £700 million

The data from the report has been used to update the interactive Dangerous Roads Map. This reveals Britain’s riskiest roads to drivers and other road users and highlights where investment could make a difference.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Ant Middle, chief executive office of Ageas, said: “The British public has made remarkable changes to their lives this year to make sure the NHS resources were not overwhelmed by demand during the pandemic. This year’s EuroRAP Crash Risk Mapping report shows that road crashes caused by dangerous roads are making a significant call on NHS resources, not to mention the cost to our economy and the catastrophic effect on the lives of those involved and their families and friends.”

“On Britain’s motorways and ‘A’ roads alone, there are more than 10,000 crashes which result in people being seriously or fatally injured every year. In their memory we cannot stand idly by and say nothing. In this report, the Road Safety Foundation has identified projects that with investment can reduce the demand on our NHS, boost employment prospects for infrastructure workers and limit deaths because of dangerous roads.”

Suzy Charman, executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, continued: “This 20th annual report shows that less than 1% of roads were significantly improved between 2013-2015 and 2016-2018. This report identifies an investment package of £1.2 billion that would see over 5,000km of roads treated, preventing an estimated 8,000 fatal and serious injuries over 20 years, with great returns—every £1 invested should benefit society by an average of around £3.60.”

“We’ve already demonstrated that infrastructure safety measures can be developed and implemented very quickly, providing jobs and saving lives. At a time when we need to boost our economic recovery and protect the NHS, what better way of saving our society an estimated £4.4 billion over the next 20 years. Let’s move forward and save lives by improving these roads.”