Red routes total rises

A new list of Red Routes that could further reduce the number of fatal accidents in Northamptonshire has been revealed.

Seven of the nine roads included are in the north of the county, with four in Corby, two in Kettering and one from Wellingborough to Finedon.

Northamptonshire's Casualty Reduction Partnership will now look at the history of the roads and the circumstances of the collisions to see what can be done to prevent further accidents.

The criteria for making a road a Red Route has changed. Previously, if there had been six fatal or serious accidents within a 1,000-metre stretch of road in a rural area or over 500 metres within in urban area, in a three-year period, a road would be designated a Red Route.

The criteria has now been reduced to four fatal or serious collisions.

A road can also be designated a Red Route if there has been a high number of crashes resulting in people being injured.

The criteria has changed because of the reduction in the number of serious accidents.

There are now 56 Red Routes in the county and the road safety team will look at whether the number of accidents can be reduced by engineering, education or enforcement.

Simon Mills, a casualty reduction officer with the team, said: "We are now looking at more roads that have a higher number of collisions and casualties, not just those that are governed by killed or seriously injured figures.

"The next stage is that we do an in-depth analysis of the type of collisions that have occurred and we look at any possible engineering solutions. We then look at it from three directions – engineering, education, training and publicity and enforcement.

"For instance, on Windmill Avenue in Kettering, we may well ask if we can go into the schools along there and talk to pupils."

Topping the most dangerous roads in the county is the M1 from Junction 15 to the Buckinghamshire border.

From 2007 to 2009, there were 21 fatal or serious accidents and 56 collisions which resulted in slight injuries.

Second on the list is the A43 from Kettering to Northampton, where there were 15 fatal or serious accidents and 52 collisions which left people with slight injuries.

Last year, the number of people killed on the county's roads fell to 34, its lowest on record.

Lesley Smith, who lives in Windmill Avenue, Kettering, a new Red Route, said: "We notice more traffic along here and cars tend to zip along the service road to avoid the main road."