Peak District route claims title of Britain's most dangerous road

A perilous 12km road running through the Peak District National Park has been officially named Britain's most dangerous highway.

The A537 from Macclesfield to Buxton in Derbyshire, dubbed the Cat and Fiddle, has seen crashes rise by 62 per cent in the past three years, with the equivalent of three fatal or serious injury collisions for every 3km stretch of road, according to a report by the Road Safety Foundation (RSF).

The 50mph single carriageway, which tourists are often forced to negotiate, takes in severe bends, steep falls and is edged by dry stone walls or rockface for almost all of its length. While the Cat and Fiddle comfortably tops Britain's 10 most dangerous routes, even without counting motorcycle crashes, the report found that drivers across the north-west and East Midlands have to negotiate the most hazardous roads in Britain, with particularly dangerous stretches in Bolton, Wakefield, Worksop and Nantwich. Routes in these areas are frequently rural and challenging to drive, with numerous blind corners and sweeping bends.

The RSF claimed that hundreds of deaths could be prevented with practical, inexpensive solutions, such as resurfacing and better road markings and signs. It said more than 300 people in the UK are alive today because just 15 roads have put such simple improvements in place.

On these 15 roads, fatal and serious-injury crashes dropped from 494 between 2004 and 2006 to 190 between 2007 and 2009.

The most-improved road is a 6.9-mile stretch of the A4128 from Great Missenden to High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, where fatal and serious crashes went down from 19 to just two.

Dr Joanne Hill, director of RSF, said: "These are practical, largely inexpensive solutions which will pay back the costs of investment in an average of 10 weeks – a 500 per cent rate of return in the first year alone – and go on saving lives and saving money for the nation for many years to come. Much of this remedial work can be done as part of routine maintenance."

More than 30,000 people have been killed and 300,000 seriously injured in crashes on Britain's roads in the past decade. Britons are four times more likely to die on the roads than in any other daily activity. Road crashes remain the leading cause of death among young adults.

Dr Hill said that A roads remained the most dangerous routes. "While motorways and dual carriageways are moving towards the 'low risk' benchmark, the risk levels on non-primary single carriageway A roads in particular remain a cause for concern," she said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back