‘Killer road’ shamed in new risk report

Signs warning motorists the A588 is a deadly road have been put up, but parish councillor June Jackson wants average speed cameras installed
Signs warning motorists the A588 is a deadly road have been put up, but parish councillor June Jackson wants average speed cameras installed

Calls for action to be taken on a notorious ‘killer’ road have been renewed after it was again named as one of the worst in the country.

The A588 – dubbed Wyre’s most dangerous highway – has claimed 11 lives in the past 20 years and seen scores more hurt in accidents.

We’ve carried out a number of schemes, investing £211,000 over the last 10 years, to improve safety along the whole length of the A588, which has included improvements to signs, road markings, junctions, changes to speed limits, and traffic calming.

Despite a raft of safety measures being introduced, the 18-mile stretch from Blackpool to Lancaster has again featured in a list of the ‘most persistently dangerous’ roads in Britain.

The road, once featured on BBC show Britain’s Killer Roads, ranked third behind the A18 in Lincolnshire and a stretch of the A36 in Hampshire after 26 fatal and serious crashes were recorded there between 2011 and 2013.

Half involved pedestrians or cyclists, 19 per cent were at junctions or cars leaving the road, and eight per cent were rear end shunts, the report’s author, the Road Safety Foundation (RSF) said.

Four per cent were placed in an ‘other’ category by the charity, which branded the A588 as the ‘highest risk road in the north west’.

Crashes cost Lancashire £544m between 2011 and 2013, the report added.

Stalmine parish council chairman June Jackson, who called for speed limits to be reduced on the A588 after Preesall motorcyclist David Redman was killed at Hambleton four yeas ago, said: “It’s absurd we have all these 20mph limits through Preesall when the A588 is where the accidents are happening.

“It’s a dangerous road and it’s not going to get better. It would be sensible to reduce the speed limit to 40mph but then you have to enforce that limit.

“Average speed cameras would be effective as they have worked elsewhere.”

The county council has previously dropped the speed limit from 60 to 50mph along a section of Carr Lane, and made the A6/A588 Pointer roundabout safer for cyclists.

Highways and transport boss, County Coun John Fillis said: “ “We’ve carried out a number of schemes, investing £211,000 over the last 10 years, to improve safety along the whole length of the A588, which has included improvements to signs, road markings, junctions, changes to speed limits, and traffic calming.

“The police also carry out regular mobile speed enforcement.

“The Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety is currently considering the use of average speed cameras in a number of locations where there is a record of deaths and injuries caused by excessive speed.”

Roadworks credited for safer motorway

The north west also had one of the most improved roads, the RSF’s report found.

The number of serious and fatal smashes between junctions 33 and 34 of the M6 has fallen by 77 per cent in recent years.

From 2008 to 2010, there were 13 major crashes on the stretch, which runs from Lancaster (South) to Morecambe northbound, and Lancaster to Garstang and Fleetwood northbound.

From 2011 to 2013, there were just three.

Work there has included major resurfacing and the replacement of a metal central barrier with a concrete one.

Andy Watson from Agea UK, which sponsored the report, said: “Local authorities can invest small amounts which remove known high risks on the roads.”