Page last updated at 07:06 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 08:06 UK

'Most dangerous' road pinpointed

Motorway traffic
Main roads remain the primary cause for concern

An eight mile (13km) stretch of road in Cheshire is Britain's most dangerous road, according to a survey.

The Road Safety Foundation pinpointed the single-carriageway A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton, known as the Cat and Fiddle road.

Since 2001, it has seen 43 fatal or serious collisions, nearly three-quarters involving motorcyclists.

The position comes despite the introduction of crash barriers along the road by the county council.

Poor road design and inadequate safety measures on the majority of the roads in the list are responsible for a high proportion of the fatal or serious collisions each year
Dr Joanne Hill

When motorcycle collisions are removed from the figures, the A537 moves to become one of the safest in the country, the foundation said.

The "undulating, bendy" A61 between Barnsley and Wakefield which suffers "poor forward visibility" tops the table, without bike accidents being taken into account.

Design factor

The Road Safety Foundation's Dr Joanne Hill said: "The fact that the A537 tops the list of Britain's most dangerous roads highlights the fundamental issue of road-user behaviour when it comes to safety.

"However, poor road design and inadequate safety measures on the majority of the roads in the list are responsible for a high proportion of the fatal or serious collisions each year."

Persistently higher risk roads are concentrated in the north of England and the Midlands, the research found, and motorways and main roads were highlighted for concern.

The most improved road was the A453 from the A38 to Tamworth, Staffordshire, which saw an 88% drop in fatal or serious collisions over six years.

The foundation said traffic lights, speed limits and extra pedestrian facilities had helped.

The risk map is appearing in the new Collins road atlas.


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