Multi-million pound grant ‘may prevent 46 deaths’ on A361 between Banbury and Chipping Norton

Accident blackspot at the junction of A361 and Wykham Lane ENGNNL00920130312163927
Accident blackspot at the junction of A361 and Wykham Lane ENGNNL00920130312163927

An estimated 46 fatal accidents could be prevented thanks to a grant of more than £4m to improve the A361 between Banbury and Chipping Norton, described as one of the riskiest roads in England.

That is the assessment of the Road Safety Foundation and the RAC Foundation after analysis of the Government scheme announced in June.

The charities believe the Department of Transport’s £100m programme of works is on course to prevent almost 1,450 deaths and serious injuries over the next two decades on the riskiest council-managed A roads, including the A361.

The cash has been allocated from the Safer Roads Fund and will be used to undertake a range of re-engineering work.

Some of it as simple and straightforward as putting in rumble strips and improving visibility at junctions and protecting or removing trees, poles or lighting columns.

The work programme is unique because it used a proactive approach to work out how to reduce risk on a road, according to the charities.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: “This analysis marks the point at which the schemes have been identified and the money allocated.

“Now the practical works can start to re-engineer and rehabilitate some of the riskiest roads we have.

“The real prize from this initiative will be the evidence generated about how effective those schemes turn out to be, and the consequent ability that this will give us, we hope, to proactively and systematically set about lowering the risk profile of our roads more widely.”