A section of the A21 at Hastings is one of the riskiest roads across the whole of the UK, says motor insurer Ageas.
The A21 between the junction with the A2100 and the junction with the A259 at Hastings has been included in the top ten roads for fatal or serious crashes in a new interactive Dangerous Roads Map,
Ageas’ study, which used analysis from the Road Safety Foundation (RSF), found South East roads to be the riskiest across the UK.
As a result, four roads within the region are included in Ageas’ top ten highest risk roads in the country.
The A254 between the junction of the A28 in Margate and the junction with the A255 near Ramsgate is rated as the highest risk road the whole of the UK.
The A259 between Whitehawk/Black Rock and the junction with the A26 and the A32 between junction 10 of the M27 and the Delme Roundabout, and between the Quay Street Roundabout and the ferry terminal at Gosport were also included.
The South East has seen a nine per cent increase in crash risk, and crashes in the South East have a societal cost of more than £1.8 billion, says Ageas.
However, Ageas’ study also found the South East is home to three of the UK’s most improved roads.
Ageas and the Road Safety Foundation are calling for an immediate investment of £75 million from the government and a further £75 million annually for five years after to improve the riskiest roads.
Ageas said it is estimated that the immediate investment of £75 million on these roads would prevent an estimated 1,100 fatal and serious injuries over the next two decades while the investment of £450m could prevent as many as 5,600 deaths or serious injuries over the same time.
Andy Watson, CEO of Ageas Insurance, said: “It’s unacceptable that road crashes continue to cost lives. It’s also shocking that they cost society £35bn each year – that’s nearly two per cent of GDP and more than we spend on primary education and GP services combined.
“It’s shocking to see that road users in the South East are living with a high risk of death or serious injury as they use the roads in their area.
“We deal with the devastating aftermaths of serious road crashes every day.
“That’s why we’re calling for this investment.
“Infrastructure safety means much more than just filling in potholes. A reduction in crashes won’t just save lives – it’ll significantly benefit the economy. Fewer crashes mean fewer insurance claims – and also mean a saving of £23.2 million that we can pass onto our policy holders.”
Ageas claims progress on reducing road deaths has stagnated since 2011, with 1,793 people killed on Britain’s roads in 2017 – the highest number since 2011.
Ageas’ study found if the UK had been on track to halve road deaths within this decade, in line with international targets, an extra 2,549 people would not have lost their lives between 2010 and 2017.
Suzy Charman, executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “The reality is that progress to reduce the rate of death and serious injury on our roads has flatlined since 2010.
“The Safer Roads Fund has allowed the road safety community to demonstrate that investing in road safety engineering treatments really does have life-saving potential, and also stacks up as an investment when compared to other transport initiatives.
“If we’re to get back on track and achieve the shared international goal of zero road deaths by 2050, we need to tackle road casualty reduction with purpose and determination. Continuation of the Safer Roads Fund would be one critical way of achieving that goal.”