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Road Safety Report Shows Improvement But Continuing Risk To Motorcyclists

Crushed motorbike after crash
6th November 2013

Following the recent positive news from the Department of Transport, which showed nearly a ten per cent reduction in motorcycle fatalities from 362 in 2011 to an all time low of 328 in 2012, comes a report which highlights those ‘A’ roads around Britain which show the best and worst safety records.

More than 1.3 million motorcycles are estimated to be on the road, according to the Motorcycle Industry Association. Accounting for only 1 per cent of all road traffic accidents, motorcyclists are victims in 21 per cent of all road deaths. In 2011, more than half of all fatal and serious crashes involving a motorcyclist occurred at junctions, 10 per cent were head-on collisions and 6 per cent rear end shunts. During the same period, the total number of all reported motorcycle user casualties rose by 8 per cent to 20,150.

The major causes for motorbike accidents, and the consequent motorbike compensation claims, may not always be as straightforward as another road user’s negligence and a failure to look.

Motorcycling organisations and individual riders can always point to a significant number of known accident blackspots and dangerous roads around the UK. Where they are located and the way they are laid out can be responsible for a high proportion of serious incidents and fatal injuries.

Entire road network safety

The road safety record Report, entitled ‘Measuring to Manage’, was published on November 6th, and maps the safety of the entire 'A' road network outside city centres “where the majority of British road deaths are concentrated.”

The Report is authored by the Road Safety Foundation, which produces a report annually as part of the UK’s commitment to the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP). Dedicated to 'saving lives through safer roads', EuroRAP is an international, not-for-profit organisation whose members include motoring organisations, national and regional road authorities, and research institutions.

The report comes at significant time as the government begins to roll out its long term investment into improving road infrastructure, focusing on cyclists, the creation of distinct cycle routes and other safety measures, for example, at road junctions. According to a previous UK report, changes made to just 15 roads around the UK prevented more than 300 deaths.

UK road improvements, such as  layouts, surfacing, marking and  signage, have been made across the country from Essex to Norfolk, the Welsh borders, North to Carlisle and into Scotland.

UK roads - concentrated in the North-West and East Midlands regions -  highlighted with persistently higher risk of motorcycle accidents, are:

A537 : Macclesfield – Buxton

A5012: A515 (Pikehall) – A6 (Matlock)

A5004:Whaley Bridge (A6) – Buxton

A621 : A619 (Baslow) – Totley

A54 :  Congleton – Buxton

A588 : A585 (Blackpool) – A6 (Lancaster)

A371 : A303 (Wincanton) – A37 (Shepton Malle

A21 : A229 (Hurst Green) – Hastings

A645 :Knottingley – A1041

A646 : Burnley – Halifax

Earlier this year, representatives from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MIA) and the  Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) met with Transport Minister Stephen Hammond at the Houses of Parliament, to “outline the need for a national motorcycle safety framework”, as part of ongoing discussions, which also involve the Department for Transport (DfT)

Late this November, both organisations will be partnering at a Safety Conference aimed at improving conditions for the motorcyclist travelling on UK roads.