Dr Suzy Charman Q&A

Dr Suzy Charman, Road Safety Foundation

  1. Is £450m enough to fix dangerous roads?
    We are quite confident it is enough to put in the cost effective (higher BCR than about 4 or 5) remedial road safety measures on all of the persistently higher risk and unacceptably high risk (high or medium-high risk) A roads and motorways that we identified in our annual risk mapping work.  Our analysis does not cover roads beyond motorways and A roads however.

  2. What is the value of prevention in monetary terms as a result of funding secured for dangerous roads? i.e. how much will be saved long-term from the investment?
    We estimate that the Present value of the investment is £550 million for the initial £100 million capital investment (£125 million once you factor in refreshing the measures etc.).
  3. Is the funding secured enough to fix the most dangerous roads?
    See Q1.

  4. Does the quality of the road markings have an effect on the star rating system?
    Absolutely.  We aren’t able to get into much granularity with this in the iRAP assessment – delineation is either adequate or inadequate but this does have an impact on the star rating score that is then banded to produce the 5 star rating bands.  That said, I am not sure that just improving delineation would push you over the next boundary unless you were near to a boundary already.  Though I would say that measures like raised rib edgelines or improved delineation are amongst the most cost effective that we have – giving the greatest returns for the level of investment required.
  5. How much of the total length of road in the UK have 0 or 1 star rating?
    Sadly we haven’t had the opportunity to Star Rate the whole of the UK network.  We have bits of local authority A road that we have star rated.  The majority of these are 1 or 2 star.  We have Star Rated the whole of the Strategic Road Network, however I am unable to share these results ahead of publication.
  1. Fantastic news to have a fund for road safety measures on both moral and financial grounds. However, how do we ensure the maintenance of road safety schemes?
    Well this is a very good question indeed and one that was a great concern for the local authorities that participated in the Safer Roads Fund project. I have no answers here!

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