I was reading with interest that although Scotland’s most heavily used roads have seen an increase in road safety they still remain the most dangerous in the UK.
A report by the Road Safety Foundation has found that the chances of having a fatal accident or a serious road traffic accident were considered “high” or “medium-high” on 8% of Scotland’s motorways and A Roads. The Road Safety charity carried out it’s analysis by looking at accident data from 2006 to 2009 compared to traffic levels.
The notorious “Cumberland Gap” part of the M6 at the Scottish border has become Britain’s most improved road in terms of safety ratings as a result of being upgraded to a motorway in 2008. In 2006-2008 there were 15 deaths and serious road traffic accidents but just 2 were reported in 2007-2009.
Another success was the M8 junction 8 at Coatbridge and junction 31 at Bishopton which both saw a 51% drop in the number of fatal and serious road traffic accidents. It is thought that the accidents have been prevented as a result of carriageway resurfacing, improvements to central safety barriers and installing anti-skid surfacing.
However despite many roads becoming safer, nearly a third of Scotland’s primary road network was deemed to present either a medium or high risk of suffering a serious road traffic accident. This compares poorly to the UK average of 28% falling into this category. The reason for the poor safety record probably has something to do with the fact that there are a higher number of single carriageway A roads in Scotland which are a lot more dangerous than motorways.