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Roads to Nowhere

More rail freight equals less roads closures and fatal collisions

Philippa Edmunds's picture
motorway queue by Sam Leech via Flikr

Earlier in the year we sent a Freedom of Information request to Highways England to find out how many critical incidents resulting in road closures of more than five hours on the strategic road network involved Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). The answer was startling. 

HGVs were involved in 43 per cent of critical incidents lasting more than five hours, and 56 per cent of critical incidents lasting more than ten hours on motorways and trunk roads last year. This despite the fact that HGVs account for just one in ten vehicles on our motorways.

Our research backs up those figures and shows that HGVs are far more likely to be involved in fatal collisions than cars. In fact, on average, over the past 11 years HGVs were almost five times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal crashes on minor roads; three and a half times more likely to be involved on motorways; and over three times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal collisions on A roads.

Yet, we still move most of our freight by road. Moving freight off the roads and onto the railways would not only have environmental and congestion benefits, it would also be safer and reduce the number of hours lost to road closures every year.

 

 

Photos: Sam Leech via Flikr and Timo Newton-Syms via Flikr

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