13 riskiest riding roads
An AA-backed study has named the 13 most dangerous roads in Britain for motorcyclists and concluded that we are often the innocent victims of unforgiving road design, badly maintained roads and unthinking drivers.
The AA Trust-led European Road Assessment Programme surveyed 800-plus roads over a two year period and has the backing of 20 motoring organisations and road authorities around Europe. As such, it offers welcome relief after a barrage of finger-pointing 'riders using roads as race-tracks' stories punted out by police forces and anti-bike lobby groups this Spring and summer.
John Dawson, Director of the AA Motoring Trust and EuroRAP chairman, said: "Bikers are very vulnerable. Road engineers have a duty to examine the type of accidents which motorcyclists have on certain roads.
"They should be protected as much as possible, with better junction design, better road surfaces and improved crash barriers.
"Car drivers need to be constantly reminded to remember to look for motorbikes."
Dawson added: "No engineering measures will protect the irresponsible minority who treat every winding road as a potential racetrack. But the actions of the minority should not blind engineers to the measures they could take to improve their roads for the benefit of the sensible majority of motorcyclists."
The report says four out of 10 riders killed on the roads die at junctions - most in collision with cars.
"Previous studies have shown that in more than half those cases the car driver was at fault. Another four in 10 are killed on bends, none of which are protected with biker-friendly crash barriers of a type now being erected in France and Germany," says the AA.
The report does say that many bikers fall victims to roads we choose to ride because we find them challenging (and the 13 on the list that follows are all popular biking roads). But Dawson added: "EuroRAP exists to identify those often innocuous-looking roads that turn out to be persistent killers. The vast majority of these are NOT a magnet for bikers."
The 13 most risky roads for riders in Britain are as follow:
1. A537: Macclesfield-Buxton, Cat & Fiddle run
2. A683: M6, J34-Kirby Lonsdale
3. A54: Congleton-Buxton
4. A682: M65 J13-A65 Long Preston
5. A534: Welsh border- Natwich
6. A65 Long Preston-M6(J36)
7. A631: Gainsborough - A1103
8. A85: Crianlarich - Perth
9. A6: Derby-Buxton
10. A515: Lichfield-Buxton
11. A628: M67-A616 ('Woodhead')
12. A283: A24-Shoreharm-by Sea
13 A166: York-Driffield
The message from the AA is that while many of these roads have had improvements, others could be made safer for riders if more thought for motorcyclists was designed-in at junctions, and through the choice of bike-friendly barriers and other road furniture.