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Fewer than one in 10 A-road miles are dual-carriageway in dozens of areas


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New evaluation has revealed how uncommon it’s for A-road stretches in Britain to be dual-carriageway.

Fewer than one in 10 A-road miles are dualled in 36 native authority areas, in keeping with Department for Transport (DfT) figures analysed by the PA information company.

The AA stated changing single-carriageway A-roads into dual-carriageways can “improve traffic flows and air quality whilst reducing collisions”.

Most of the 36 areas are largely rural, akin to Pembrokeshire, the place solely 0.8% of A-road miles are dualled.

Other examples embrace the Scottish Borders (1.5%), Cumbria (8.4%) and Wiltshire (9.1%).

But 5 London boroughs are in the identical class, akin to Islington (5.2%), Sutton (5.8%) and Lambeth (8.9%).

The proportion of A-road miles that are dual-carriageway throughout Britain barely modified in a decade, from 17% in 2012 to 18% in 2022.

Minor A-roads are the duty of native authorities, whereas main A-roads are managed by National Highways (in England), Traffic Wales and Traffic Scotland.

Dual-carriageways have been discovered to enhance security and scale back congestion in contrast with single-carriageway roads.

Their additional lanes and the barrier between automobiles travelling in reverse instructions make it a lot simpler and safer for slower site visitors to be overtaken.

It is vital to have a superb community of related and dualled A-roads

Edmund King, AA

Speed limits on dual-carriageways are as much as 70mph, whereas on single-carriageway roads they are often no extra than 60mph.

Halton, Cheshire, is the native authority space with the best proportion of A-road miles which have been dualled, at 70.1%.

That is adopted by Plymouth, Devon (67.6%); Newport, South Wales (63.9%) and Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (62.4%).

AA president Edmund King stated: “The dualling of key A-roads greatly enhances connectivity and indeed road safety.

“Improving unsafe, congested, single-carriageway roads and building essential bypasses can improve traffic flows and air quality whilst reducing collisions.

“It is important to have a good network of connected and dualled A-roads, which are vital for the economy and environment.

“Congestion costs businesses billions of pounds and is detrimental to air quality and CO2 emissions.”

Mr King stated a “great example” of the advantages of dualling A-roads is the A11 in Norfolk.

“Some 30 years ago the A11 was a mixed bag of single-carriageway roads, many going through the middle of towns and villages, causing chaos and congestion,” he stated.

“Following the A11 ‘dual it’ campaign, all of the road is now high quality dual-carriage, which not only speeds journey times but bypasses the towns and villages and enhances safety and the environment in those villages.”

Steve Gooding, director of motoring analysis charity the RAC Foundation, stated: “For a whole array of financial and environmental reasons, it is implausible to think that we’ll see a large-scale initiative anytime soon to dual our single-carriageway A-roads.

“A more practical and cost-effective answer to improving safety on A-roads is probably to ‘engineer out’ identified problems and hazards rather than try to upgrade hundreds of miles of routes, with all that entails.”

Last month, the DfT stated its choice to cancel HS2 north of Birmingham would allow it to fund the long-awaited dualling of the A1 in Northumberland between Morpeth and Ellingham.

In March, a proposed dualling of a stretch of the A64 north-east from York, North Yorkshire, was amongst dozens of main street tasks in England postponed by the Government till the 5 years after 2030.

Demands to twin the entire of the A75 in Dumfries and Galloway – connecting Gretna Green to Stranraer – date again at the very least twenty years.

A report commissioned by three native authorities earlier this 12 months discovered dualling the A75 and the A77 between Stranraer and Ayr, South Ayrshire, by way of Cairnryan ferry port would deliver practically £5 billion of “positive benefits” to the UK financial system.

The Government has pledged to offer funding to improve the A75 utilizing cash saved by downscaling HS2.

In February, the Welsh Government scrapped all main street constructing tasks over environmental considerations.

The Scottish Government has additionally been underneath hearth over its incapability to twin the A9 – considered one of essentially the most harmful roads in Scotland.

Earlier this 12 months, a bid to twin a stretch between Tomatin and Moy in the Highlands was rejected after being deemed to not be worth for cash, with a earlier 2025 date for dualling the part between Perth and Inverness being dropped.

Anger from locals and politicians in impacted areas has elevated stress on the Scottish Government to unveil its plan for dualling the street, which gives a key hyperlink between the central belt and the Highlands.

A DfT spokeswoman stated: “While Britain’s roads are some of the safest in the world, we’re committed to further reducing collisions and improving our road network.

“Our £24 billion road strategy will ensure we have a road network that is safe, reliable and well-maintained.

“We have also redirected funding from HS2 savings for road projects across the country – benefiting more people in more places, more quickly including developing the A1 and A75 schemes as part of Network North.”

The Government’s Network North doc states particular person tasks “will be subject to the approval of business cases”.



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