High-risk roads report out of date, says Northants County Council

Police at the scene of an accident in Stamford Road, Kettering, in 2012
Police at the scene of an accident in Stamford Road, Kettering, in 2012

A report which names a road through Kettering as one of the most high-risk in Britain is out of date, says the county council.

The A4300 – which runs along Rothwell Road, Lower Street, Eskdaill Street, Montagu Street and Stamford Road – is ranked as the most high risk in the East Midlands in a new report by the Road Safety Foundation.

Burton Bypass :Burton Latimer:  A6 Red Route between Burton Latimer and Finedon''Wednesday 26th February 2014 NNL-140226-164657001

Burton Bypass :Burton Latimer: A6 Red Route between Burton Latimer and Finedon''Wednesday 26th February 2014 NNL-140226-164657001

However, the figures pre-date the new Geddington bypass, and Northamptonshire County Council says a number of road safety improvements have been made in recent years which resulted in a decrease in collisions.

A spokesman for the authority said: “The report has highlighted the A4300 as a ‘high risk’ route which, according to the data, experienced a significant number of collisions involving death and serious injury over the study period up to the end of 2012.

“However, the report is nearly two years out of date and does not now reflect the much improved collision history of three serious injuries recorded since the end of 2012.

“These were random in nature with no particular trend, pattern or common location that would enable our panel of experts from different organisations to identify any meaningful intervention.

“There have been significant improvements in road safety in Northamptonshire over the past 20 years.

“In 2013 there were 330 casualties killed or seriously injured, compared with 348 in 2012 – a decrease of five per cent.

“The greatest progress in casualty reduction has been achieved over the longer term by comparing 2013 with the Government baseline years of 1994-98.

“The average number of people killed or seriously injured during this period in Northamptonshire was 773 per year compared with 330 in 2013, a reduction of 57 per cent.”

The rankings are based on figures from the pan-European Road Assessment Programme, which measures and raises awareness of risk on highways across the continent.

The Kettering town centre route also makes the top 10 nationwide after 25 crashes in the two two-year periods studied by the charity for its report, published on Tuesday this week.

There were 13 crashes along the four-mile stretch of road in 2007-09 and a further 12 in 2010-12, meaning the road has been given its ranking because it has ranked among the most at-risk in both time periods, while also showing little or no improvement between studies.

Britain’s most dangerous road, in West Sussex, saw a total of 39 incidents over those years – although the stretch of road involved was more than three times longer.

There are also a number of other “medium-high risk” roads in north Northamptonshire. They include the A427 from Corby to Oundle, the A43 from Corby to the northern tip of the county at Stamford and the A6 betweem Rushden and Kettering.

The only green road – those deemed to be the lowest risk – in the north of the county is the A510 from Finedon to the A14 at Cranford.

However, the findings were greeted with some scepticism on the Northants Telegraph’s Facebook page.

One, Mel Peake, said: “The A510 may not have had many incidents but the speed that many vehicles enter and leave Finedon is frightening.”

Other major roads in the area, including the A6 between Rothwell and Market Harborough and the main road through Geddington, are also highlighted.

James Bradford from the Road Safety Foundation, said the nature of roads in the East Midlands meant it was the UK’s riskiest region – with the chances of a collision occurring 60 per cent more likely than in the West Midlands. He said single-lane carriageways were largely to blame.