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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 11:01 GMT
Bikers' road safety risk revealed
Damaged car
Britain has some of the safest roads in Europe
British roads are increasingly safe, but motorcyclists remain at risk of serious injury and death, according to a report by the AA Motoring Trust.

Bikers account for nearly all deaths on one of Britain's most dangerous roads - the A537 from Macclesfield to Buxton.

But overall the risk of death or serious injury on Britain's roads is one of the lowest in Europe.

The report, EuroRAP 2005: British Results, is based on an analysis of accident data from 850 main roads.

A "mini massacre" of motorcyclists on some rural main roads continues to undermine significant road safety improvements, according to the study.

MOST DANGEROUS ROADS 2001-3
1. A682 from Junction 13 on the M65 to Long Preston, North Yorkshire
2. A54 Congleton in Cheshire to Buxton, Derbyshire
3. A84 near Lochearnhead, central Scotland
4. A59 Skipton to Harrogate, Yorkshire
5. A53 Leek in Staffordshire to Buxton, Derbyshire
6. A62 Oldham to Huddersfield
7. A44 Leominster to Worcester
8. A65 from Long Preston to Junction 36 on the M6
9. A631 from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, to the A1103

AA Motoring Trust director Bert Morris said: "We now know the roads where deaths and serious injuries are routine and predictable.

"Our analysis highlights where resources can be targeted to save most lives."

He added: "Big wins in road safety, such as compulsory seatbelt wearing or changing attitudes to drink-driving, have saved thousands of lives."

The study also showed that if roads with above-average risk rates improved to just the average safety rating, more than 200 lives would be saved annually.

The findings revealed that 20 of the 22 fatal and serious injuries on the A537 between 2001 and 2003 involved motorcyclists.

High-risk roads are typically single carriageway and running through rural, often hilly, areas, such as the Derbyshire Peak District.

UK ROAD STATISTICS
The highest-risk roads are 10 times more dangerous than the safest ones
In the UK, trees feature in over 200 road fatalities each year
In England and Wales 60% of road deaths occur outside built-up areas
Over 70% of deaths on Scottish roads are outside built-up areas

Britain's fatal collision risk rate for single carriageway roads is around half that of Spain.

According to the findings, Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands, have the safest roads in Europe.

These countries have the best seatbelt-wearing rates, as well as the lowest drink-driving rates traffic laws which are vigorously enforced.

The Highways Agency, which is responsible for England's motorways and major trunk routes, said: "The safety performance of the strategic road network continues to improve markedly ahead of the continuing growth in road transport and we are on track to achieve the government's targets for improvement.

"UK roads are among the safest in the world and this has been achieved through continual work in all areas of road safety."

Accident rates can be reduced by clean and clear signs and good road markings, as well as effective drainage, according to the report.




SEE ALSO:
Deaths prompt warning to bikers
15 Feb 05 |  Bristol/Somerset
Safety campaign for danger road
03 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Motorbike crash in police pursuit
05 Feb 05 |  Manchester
Strategy to cut motorbike deaths
25 Nov 04 |  Cornwall


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