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A14 is one of safest roads in country

PUBLISHED: 22:00 21 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

DESPITE recent chaos caused by crashes on the A14 it is officially one of the safest roads in the country, according to new government statistics.

And the A12 between Ipswich and Colchester is also very safe.

DESPITE recent chaos caused by crashes on the A14 it is officially one of the safest roads in the country, according to new government statistics.

And the A12 between Ipswich and Colchester is also very safe.

The government has a system of star ratings to denote how safe roads are, judged by the number of fatal and serious injuries there are on them.

These figures give the A14 in Suffolk and the A12 between Ipswich and Colchester three stars – and they are at the lower end of the accident list for this classification.

Over the last few years there have been 19 fatal or serious injury accidents per billion vehicle kilometres between Ipswich and Newmarket.

The figure for the A12/A14 between Colchester and Felixstowe is 15 accidents per billion kilometres.

The average figure for roads in England is between 60 and 100 accidents per billion kilometres.

The figures are used by the government, including the Highways Agency, to decide if roads need improvement on safety grounds.

However Suffolk County Council roads spokesman Guy McGregor said they did not reflect the true story – and underlined why it would be best if the day-to-day management of the roads was handed back to local authorities.

He said: "If you're sitting in an office somewhere else in the country you can look at statistics like this and say that there isn't an urgent need to do anything.

"But what we are talking about is the disruption and economic costs that the area can face when the road is out of action – whether there are injuries or not.

"If the day-to-day management of the road was in the hands of local people, they'd be able to respond immediately if there was a problem and would know exactly what to do."

Mr McGregor was pleased that the road is considered relatively safe – but pointed out that because there are no other good alternative roads, if there is a problem it can very quickly cause serious congestion.


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