Deaths, crashes on A64 at lowest rate for years

Picture shows the scene of a crash between a bus and an ambulance that was believed to have been stolen on the A64 near Flaxton in North Yorkshire. The driver of the ambulance died and many others were injured. According to police figures, this was the only death crash on the A64 last year with data showing the road is getting much safer. Ian Hinchliffe / Rossparry.co.uk
Picture shows the scene of a crash between a bus and an ambulance that was believed to have been stolen on the A64 near Flaxton in North Yorkshire. The driver of the ambulance died and many others were injured. According to police figures, this was the only death crash on the A64 last year with data showing the road is getting much safer. Ian Hinchliffe / Rossparry.co.uk

Accidents on the A64, once dubbed one of Britain’s most dangerous roads, have fallen dramatically.

Fatal crashes are at their lowest point for at least five years, while accidents in general have fallen by over 30 per cent since 2010.

The A64 Andrew McCaren/Rossparry.co.uk

The A64 Andrew McCaren/Rossparry.co.uk

“These figures are encouraging”, said Transport Minister and Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill.

He said improvements to vehicle safety, including autonomous emergency braking, coupled with improved road markings and driver’s attitudes were key reasons behind the decline.

“I’ve noticed people’s compliance with speed limits is much better these days, partially due to use of speed camera vans, but our attitude on the road has also improved,” he added.

“Drivers have a better attitude towards speeding and people have a much more grown up attitude in this country to drink driving and using their seatbelt.

“Coupled with vehicle safety improvements and some improvements to the road,it makes a big difference.

Our figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police, show there have been 216 accidents so far this year - 96 less than at the start of the decade.

Serious accidents have fallen by more than a third in that period, while of the 19 deaths on the road since 2010 just one occurred this year.

That was Michael South, who died after stealing a private ambulance before crashing it into a bus.

However, in 2014 their were six fatalities - a decade high figure - although in 2015 accidents fell in every key category.

North Yorkshire Police say that decline is in part down to partnership work.

“We work very closely with Highways England and have been involved in a number of road safety schemes to determine how the A64 can be improved and made safer,” said a force spokesperson.

“This liaison is ongoing, with regular meetings held in addition to discussions with engineers and staff at other times.

“As a result of this partnership working, a number of improvements have been introduced to the road which will improve safety and reduce accidents further.”

These include introducing central barrier reflectors to reduce accidents caused through loss of control, along with solar road studs to aid drivers and assist navigation.

In recent years, parts of the A64 have picked several dubious accolades.

Part of the A64 was named the most dangerous road in the North, while the Scarborough to York stretch was named one of Britain’s most dangerous trunk roads.