Britain's Poor Roads Cost Lives
Invest in Improvement Not Obstruction, says ABD
Today, the Association of British Drivers added a road safety dimension to the economic arguments advanced by the RAC Foundation, FTA and SMMT for increased roadbuilding.
Britain has less motorway miles per car and per unit of land area than any other developed European nation — and this has a terrible impact on safety. Motorways are easily the safest roads to travel on, and when a new one is opened there are big reductions in accidents as traffic diverts off less suitable roads.
Major roads like the A1 still have dangerous crossing points in the central reservation, instead of proper graded junctions. It is outrageous that people continue to be killed in these places because the British Government refuses to invest in decent roads.
"New roads save lives", said the ABD's Nigel Humphries. "This is often about upgrading existing roads and building bypasses rather than driving completely new motorways through the countryside — so it should not be controversial. But the government have listened to frankly silly suggestions from the anti roads lobby that "roads create traffic" which is considered a "bad thing", and so improving the roads has become taboo. On the contrary, removing roadspace and obstructing the roads is supposed to make traffic magically disappear, with no ill effects on people's lives."
It is important to realise that this kind of anti-road lobbying is costing hundreds of lives a year as drivers crash on roads that are inappropriate for the levels of traffic they are forced to carry.
Demands that the authorities "do something" about road deaths have continued - but when they aren't allowed to do anything that benefits car drivers it's hardly surprising that road safety measures have all focussed on obstructing traffic flow with myriad traffic lights and other so called traffic calming measures — all of which have contributed to increased congestion and have demonstrably failed to improve safety.
It's time to get back to building better roads — "improve, not obstruct" should be the new mantra.