The “Cat and Fiddle” road, a popular destination for Britain’s bikers, has been named as the UK’s most dangerous road by the Road Safety Foundation.
The A537 from Macclesfield, Cheshire to Buxton, Derbyshire, emerged as the most dangerous road in a survey covering 28,000 miles of Britain’s motorways and A-roads, with the report noting that the route had severe bends, steep falls from the carriageway and was edged by dry-stone walls or rock face for almost all its length.
Fatal and serious collisions on the route, known as the Cat and Fiddle due to the Cat and Fiddle Inn situated close to the road’s summit, rose from 15 in the three years to 2005 to 34 between 2006 and 2008, despite various speed reduction measures being introduced by the local authority, with most crashes occurring at weekends during the summer in dry, daylight conditions.
The most improved road was named as the A40 between Llandovery and Carmarthen, which has seen a significant overhaul in recent years with improved junctions and markings, along with resurfacing with high friction, anti-skid treatments.
Those measures saw the number of serious accidents fall from 27 between 2003 and 2005 to seven in the following three years and Foundation director Dr Joanne Hill called on such measures to be adopted elsewhere, claiming that such improvements were relatively inexpensive when stacked up against the cost of an accident to the emergency services.
“Not only can Britain reduce road deaths and serious injuries but, by targeting a relatively small mileage of high-risk roads, we can do so with good economic returns.
“Too often we pay for emergency services, hospitals and care for the disabled rather than taking easy steps to put road design faults right.”
The report also names the highest-risk roads when crashes involving motorcyclists are excluded, with a stretch of the A18 in North East Lincolnshire topping the list.
Most of these roads are single-carriageway A roads, with nine of the 10 in northern England, including five in Derbyshire alone.