Danger route on list of UK’s worst

Scene of fatal road traffic accident involving a motorcycle on the junction of the A588 and Gulf Lane near Pilling.
Scene of fatal road traffic accident involving a motorcycle on the junction of the A588 and Gulf Lane near Pilling.
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New calls were made today to lower the speed limit on a notorious Wyre road – after it was included in a list of Britain’s most dangerous routes.

A study by the Road Safety Foundation found the A588, which runs through Hambleton, Pilling and Stalmine, to be a “persistently higher risk road” following 89 serious and fatal incidents between 2002 and 2011.

The report lists all of the 10 single carriageway roads included in the report to be “challenging to drive with frequent blind corners and sweeping bends”.

Between 2002 and 2006 there were 54 serious and fatal crashes on the roads and a further 35 between 2007 and 2011, 49 per cent of which involved a motorcyclist.

In 2005, a 1,000 signature petition calling for a lower speed limit was handed to County Hall and in 2007 the section of road through Stalmine was reduced to 30mph.

Today Stalmine parish councillor June Jackson said the rest of the road should be reduced from 50mph.

She added: “There’s a lot of accidents on the stretch mainly because of the junctions with people joining and leaving the road and people travelling at high speed.

“The road would be better and more sensible as a 40mph road.

“The standard isn’t of an A-road because there’s lots of bends and junctions.

“There’s no doubt whatsoever that reducing the speed of the traffic would reduce the seriousness of any injuries.”

But Terry Godbert, chairman of Blackpool and Fylde Advanced Motorists, said incidents would be reduced if drivers obeyed the speed limit. He said: “On a road like that people need to take great care on it.

“What they tend to forget is the road is only as safe as the people who drive on it.

“I drive on it quite a lot and never had any problems, but having said that, I’ve been overtaken by people when I’ve been going the speed limit.

“People take too many risks and exceed the speed limit.

“There are a lot of drivers who stick to the speed limit but there’s a few that don’t.

“People think there are too many road signs across the Fylde coast but on that road there isn’t and there needs to be more which point out the speed limit.” The road has been the subject of much controversy and featured on a BBC documentary in 2011 about Britain’s most dangerous roads.

Dr Steve Lawson, director of the Road Safety Foundation, said: “The specification that authorities currently set road managers is to reduce crash rates in general.

“That approach is too weak and must be replaced, because it muddles factors over which road managers have no control – such as car safety, hospital care and traffic levels - with factors very definitely under their control such as roadside safety barriers or junction layouts.”

Paul Binks, Lancashire County Council’s road safety manager, said: “We have introduced a number of improvements on the A588 over the past few years and these have helped to reduce accidents.

“We are continuing to work closely with Lancashire Police and will be carrying out further enforcement on this road as part of the Community Roadwatch Scheme. We hope this will make the roads safer.”