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National Road Improvement Scheme Risk To Impatient Motorists

Road with potholes in
17th December 2013
The Department of Transport (DfT) recently announced a £13.1 billion road improvement scheme, designed to improve road user safety, especially at dangerous road junctions, and includes a £107 million investment into cycling infrastructure.

It means as the scheme is rolled out across Britain, involving major cities like Liverpool, Manchester and a number of key towns, the number of roadworks will multiply and likely to worsen motorist behaviour.

Investment in improving some of Britain’s most congested, poorly laid out or crumbling roads is, of course, overdue. In the last five years the number of motor accidents recorded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has increased by over 50 per cent to nearly 800,000 and accident claims remain high.

According to The Highways Agency, once the road improvements begin, there will be a noticeable increase in temporary measures on motorways and trunk roads. To prevent any sudden rise in traffic incidents, drivers are requested to be patient, stay within the speed limit and focus their concentration on the road ahead, and keep a suitable distance from the vehicle in front.

Wherever possible, journeys should be planned ahead so that motorists can identity and avoid where roadworks are taking place and thereby, reduce congestion in those specific areas. Motorists either held up or trying to avoid being slowed down by roadworks, can break the local speed limit, and cause a serious accident, especially where road crews are working.

Referring to the current M62 roadworks, where there is a 50mph speed limit between junction 25 and 30, West Yorkshire Police have said that almost 40,000 drivers were prosecuted in 2012 because of motorists breaking the speed limit.

The police say that all motorists should be reminded that those caught  breaking the speed limit would be liable to pay a £60 fixed penalty notice, a requirement to attend a speed awareness course or face a court prosecution in a serious incident.

The DfT quarterly Provisional Estimates up to September 2012, show that the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on Britain’s main roads increased by 2 per cent - from 24,473 ( 12 months up to Sep 2011) to 24,860. On minor roads, fatal and serious accidents were also up by 5 per cent. Road accident casualties in 20mph zones had risen by nearly 25 per cent compared to 30mph zones in 2011.