Highways England rates its entire network for safety

Highways England has had the whole of the strategic road network (SRN) rated for safety using the EuroRAP/iRAP star rating methodology.

The iRAP (International Road Assessment Programme) star rating process assesses ‘built-in’ road infrastructure attributes that are known to have an impact on safety, rather than reflecting actual crash data.

Highways England’s current Delivery Plan includes a commitment for 90% of travel on the SRN to be at three stars or above by the end of 2020 and to ensure that the majority of those roads with 1 star and 2 star rating have improved to 3 star.

It also has a target to reduce killed and serious injury casualties by at least 40% by the end of 2020 against a 2005-09 baseline.

Data published in 2010 revealed that while all of the motorway network and 98% of dual carriageway A roads were rated three or four stars, 63% of single carriageway A roads were below three stars.

However, at that time the rating system used up to four stars, while it now rates roads from one to five stars and star ratings under the two systems are not comparable.

Highways England declined to state when or in what form it will publish the findings of its recent survey.

A spokesperson for the Government-owned company told Highways: ‘Work on the star rating of the SRN using the International Roads Assessment Programme (iRAP) Safety Rating Model has been undertaken.

‘Further work to develop and finalise a baseline 2015 star rating of the SRN is making steady progress. One this has been completed, Highways England will be in a better position to speak about it in more detail.’

Work on the project was carried out by transport research specialists TRL, which is an iRAP centre of excellence. A TRL spokesperson told Highways that it could not comment as the findings are the property of the client.

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