Region’s roads are among the safest - report

Concern over seven routes

MAJOR roads in Suffolk and Essex are among the safest in Britain, although seven routes have been highlighted for their above-average accident statistics.

The A137 from Ipswich to Colchester via Lawford, the A120 Harwich to Colchester, the A134 Colchester to Sudbury, the A1071 Ipswich-Hadleigh-Newton road, the A414 from Maldon to Chelmsford, the A1101 Bury St Edmunds to Elveden, and the A1088 Ixworth to Thetford have been classified as medium to high risk in a survey published on Wednesday.

The Road Safety Foundation says no roads in the two counties are categorised as high risk and the majority are either low or medium risk when it comes to accident figures.

The A14 from Felixstowe to Newmarket, the M11 through Essex, the A120 Braintree to Stansted airport dual carriageway, and the A11 in Suffolk – where a bypass is planned to avoid the accident blackspot at Elveden crossroads – have all be given the top safety category.

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The East of England – made up of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, and Bedfordshire – accounts for 9% of Britain’s roads and 11% of all fatal crashes, making it the 6th-safest place to drive in the 10 regions.

Road Safety Foundation director, Dr Joanne Hill, said: “As the road budget becomes tighter, emphasis must be on saving lives with less. It means systematic attention to detail – prioritising treatment of the highest-risk routes most likely to benefit from low-cost, high-return countermeasures.

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“Simple, relatively inexpensive engineering measures, such as improvements to signing and lining, resurfacing and the layout of signals at junctions, are paying dividends and are affordable, particularly when done as part of well-planned routine maintenance.”

David Chinnery, Suffolk County Council’s head of road safety, said such improvements implemented by the authority had dramatically decreased the number of accidents on the A140 through Mid Suffolk to Norwich.

He said the county council was moving away from concentrating on accident blackspots to looking at risk ratings for longer lengths of road.

“Mobile camera units will cover a number of locations on a road rather than just one section,” he said.

The most persistently dangerous road in Britain is the A537 between Macclesfield in Cheshire and Buxton in Derbyshire.

The report said the A537 which runs through the Peak District has severe bends, steep falls from the carriageway and is edged by dry-stone walls or rock face for almost all its length.

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