Dangerous Roads

escargot

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Peak district pass named as UK's most persistently dangerous road

A study by the AA motoring trust identified an eight-mile stretch of the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton as the worst offender in a list of stubbornly accident-prone roads.

However, the council's chief road safety officer John Ross blamed motorcycling "headbangers" for its persistently bad reputation. "The motorcycling press advertise it as England's TT route," he said. "The motorcyclists come, they challenge the road, the road tends to win, and they end up headbutting a mountain."

I drive on this one a lot-
The runner-up to the Cat and Fiddle was the A534 from Nantwich, Cheshire, to the Welsh border, where 32 serious casualties were recorded in 2000 and 2001.

There are always flowers and little shrines beside the road.

On the A530 nearby, one stretch of hedge has been wrecked so many times that the farmer has stuck a flimsy fence up now and planted brightly-coloured flowers along its length.
This is within sight of the area's main hospital A & E!

I used to travel on the A530 regularly and would literally pray as I pulled onto it.:eek:

Dangerous roads- a fascinating subject to me.
Can a road be dangerous? Or is it, like the Cat & Fiddle road, just a case of dangerous driving?

(I travel on the C&F too and there are ALWAYS kidney donors peddling their wares!;))
 
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Anonymous

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Theres always a strech of road where lots of acidents happen and where you just cant think how... theres a road on the way to truro from here that prity much every month is closed off and the air ambulance is in attendance. I cant work out what happens there! A foaf said she was following someone down it at moderate speed, one second she was following, lost sight of them and round the corner there they were haveing smashed into a tree. Dead... A car ful of Navy lads was killed there last year Three out of four killed... he claimed he was overtakeing a lerner driver (but they were never found and would ahve noticed surely!) Overtakeing on a blind bend, over double white lines as long as its a lerner is some excuse for killing three of your mates ah!...perhapse there a phantom L driver there.
 
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Anonymous

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There's a crossroads around here where there is a crash every few weeks. The latest one was some 18 year old tit coming screaming down the road, far too fast, and colliding with another car. A police car. I wish I could have seen his face.
 

johnnyboy1968

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No fatalities as far as I know, but when I worked at Cardiff Youth Hostel, the peace and tranquility of my Sunday morning off work was usually disturbed by at least one almighty crunch, followed by swearing / hysterics. The staff house was just off a nasty six junction roundabout. Wedal Road, where the hostel is, joins up with one of the roads leading onto the roundabout, and what normally happened was that someone would come razzing down there, pull out to turn right, and get hit by someone coming off the roundabout without indicating. People these days seem to think its not important to use their indicators so that the rest of us know where the f**k they're going...

I was there for six months, and I reckon it happened every Sunday. The most I ever counted on one day was four though, all within the space of two hours.

I wonder if the Stocksbridge bypass is on the league table of dangerous roads? According to one or two ghost books I've read, there was a spate of fatal accidents after it was finished, and the authors were keen to link it with the phantom monk that was seen lurking around the site, scaring policemen and workmen!
 

escargot

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I too wondered about Stocksbridge. It was featured on TV a while ago and there is a long and interesting article on the Observer site about the road's reputation both for fatalities and for its reputed haunting.

One awful crash there killed a pair of baby twin boys- I can't imagine anything worse really. :(
 
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Anonymous

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The A508 single lane country road that goes from Northampton to Market Harborough. There is a big sign on it that says "Red route 27 casualties in the past year" or something like that ! AND I can tell you why it is so dangerous - it has lots of old dears pottering on it doing about 30 mph when the speed limit is 60 mph, consequently driving motorists mad and making them execute dangerous overtaking manouevers. AND why do these people slow down even further to about 25 mph when passing a speed camera... it's hardly going to trigger if you are already going 30 miles below the speed limit, now is it ?????:grrr:
 
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I'd like to meet the guy who blames bikers and whack some sense into him:mad:

Oh no, nothing to do with the mud on the road, diesel spills, some saft git driving dangerously, or some 17 year old who passed his test last week and has borrowed his dad's Subaru Imprezza? There was a incident reported in MCN the other week, where some guy stood in the middle of a road, weilding an axe at some bikers who rode past. He got nothing more than a caution. Speeding in a car is frowned on, but you're less likely to lose your licence than if you speed on a bike. And if you lose your licence on a bike, that's it - you've lost both car and bike licences, and both have to be retaken at the end of the ban. Going to lose your job? Tough shit - four weeks in the slammer and several thousand pounds fine.

It pisses me off. Whenever a rider crashes, it's always their fault and always speed. Okay, there are some prats on two wheels as well as four, but you prat around on two wheels and the only person to suffer is going to be you. Prat around on four wheels and you're more than likely going to be the one to walk away. Or at least survive.

There was a death on the road last year, when a biker hit a diesel patch on a corner, and low sided. The bike slid across the road, he slid across the road. He came to a halt, sat up, then got hit by the old dear driving the opposite way who hadn't seen him. And the really sad thing is, I bet the last thing he thought was 'That was lucky'.:(
 
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From James "The Amazing Randi" Randi's commentary a few weeks back:

We hear that the Druids have been called in to reduce accidents on Austria's worst stretches of autobahn. They have erected huge roadside monoliths of white quartz to "restore the natural flow" of "Earth energy." In a secret two-year trial the Druids' massive pillars were put up beside a notorious stretch of road, and lo! fatal accidents fell from an average of six a year to zero. A man named Gerald Knobloch, who modestly describes himself as an Archdruid, used a divining rod to inspect a 300-metre stretch of the autobahn to restore "Earth energy lines." He claims that he located dangerous elements that had disrupted that flow. Way to go, Gerald!

To quote the heroic Archdruid himself, "The worst [dangerous element] was a river that human interference had forced to flow against its natural direction. By erecting two stones of quartz, each weighing more than a tonne [2200 pounds], at the side of the road, the energy lines were restored. Acupuncture needles also restore broken energy lines. What acupuncture does for the body, the stones do for the environment." A spokesman for the motorway authority said authorities had turned to Mr. Knobloch as a last resort. Said he:


We had put up signs to reduce speed, renewed the road surface and made bends more secure but we still kept getting accidents. At that point we couldn't think of anything else to do and decided we might as well try anything. I admit when we first looked at it (energy lines) we were doubtful. We didn't want people to know in case they laughed at us, so we kept the trial secret and small scale. But it was really an amazing turnaround. Of course, the fall in accidents could be due to something else as we are continuously repairing the roads.
Wait a minute. They missed Tarot cards, sprinkling salt, exorcism, sacrificing lambs, holy water, casting the Autobahn horoscope, running around naked at midnight, all kinds of other equally sensible remedies! These people just don't have any common sense!

Scientists are skeptical but the motorway authorities are extending the Druids' role across the country, paying them about $6000 for each investigation — a fraction of the cost of resurfacing a road. Sounds logical to me. I only hope no motorists get into accidents when they see monstrous quartz towers looming ahead. Ah, but I'm such a delusion-buster….
 

OneWingedBird

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Maybe this isn't the best time to mention that I work for the Highways Agency and all of those UK roads you're talking about are in my area!

A few years ago I was at a meeting where our divisional director told us about a stretch of road (I don't recall which) that had regular though infrequent accidents, then without apparent explanation the accident rate there shot up severalfold and stayed that way for months.

He then revealed that the peak had ocurred right after a leading motorcyle magazine had printed a list of 'good places to test your skills...'.
 
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Anonymous

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At the end of the day, it all depends on how you count these things. In any situation, a car will come out better than a bike. It's the modern day equivalent to the Great War story about how casualties increased after they introduced tin helmets.

A situation or road condition that would simply result in a car mounting the verge, or it's tracking being knocked out, or a slight skid, can easily result in the death of a biker. A work colleague of mine walks with a serious limp as a result of a shattered pelvis, after coming off his bike doing less than 30mph as he rounded a bend, to find fine gravel and dust right across the road. The bike obviously went down, and he was lucky to be alive after he caught the kerb badly with his head and back. A car wouldn't have been affected like that. But the accident was certainly not his fault.

Course, maybe if we go to Austria, we can look forward to a nice soft landing on a handy Druid.;)
 

TheBeast17

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I live in *whispers* Lincolnshire and I was under the impression that our county had the worst roads in Britain.

Not that I'm proud you understand, I'm simply curious.

There are regularly roadside tributes and bunches of flowers, at the scene of some accident or other. The A15, A17 or A46 are terrible.
 

escargot

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Cheshire is famous for the bad state of its roads, repair-wise I mean. When I used to ride motorbicycles years ago, yeah, unto the Cat & Fiddle road, the exact border between Derbyshire and Cheshire could be pinpointed by the sudden deterioration or improvement (depending on the direction of travel) in the quality and condition of the tarmac. On the whole, Derbyshire gravelrash is preferable to the Cheshire variety - smoother with fewer troublesome gravel fragments. :)
 

SoundDust

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i'd recommend the A635 between Doncaster and Barnsley, the drivers there seem to drive fast and dangerously, even more so when it rains:(

there's a village called Hickleton which has an awkward curve as you enter going to Barnsley, the wall of the person whose house is on this curve is regularly rebuilt after some idiot drives too fast and ignores the flashing 30 sign at the edge of the village.

coming home today i saw a medium sized open van with a slightly smaller van on it's trailer, on corners it seemed to be almost tipping over.:eek!!!!:
 

escargot

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Jima, is the road you tell about the one featured in a TV prog a couple of years back? With a very looong, deceptively curving stretch of road leading gently into someone's front room?

The one I saw had an horrendous record- trucks regularly outstay their brakes and their welcome on it. :eek:

It was Oop North somewhere and the scenery around it was beautiful. Fortunate really as that view is the last some people ever see.
 

SoundDust

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it's at the end of a long straight, as you drive into the village theres a bit of a rise and then it goes to the right and then sweeps to the left shortly after. it's the bit that goes to the right that catches out drivers.

here's an aeriel view

not clear, but coming right to left over screen is the direction they're goign where the crashes happen
 
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Anonymous

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reminds me of Lostwithial..charming little town...big hill don into it with 90% turn... the china clay trucks would just carry on into the house at the bottom...so they put a sand trap (to put one set of wheels in to slow trucks down) and a the meatyest crash/scrape barried ive seen along one side.... Few months ago a poor German turcker did it again and was killed.
 

escargot

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Is there such a thing as a 'dangerous' road, or are accidents caused by human error?

This interests me.
While I'd say that most accidents are caused by speeding/drink driving/carelessness/falling asleep at the wheel and so on, and others by punctures or other mechanical failures, there are people who insist that the road itself causes crashes.

We all know about the notorious Stocksbridge Bypass, where there are reports of unaccountable crashes and deaths.

In Cheshire, the A530 also has a terrible reputation. The police maintain that the road itself is 'safe' and that all the crashes are because of bad driving. There seem to be a lot of two-car collisions, with two or more deaths occurring at a time.p

However, many locals blame the road itself, and a local newspaper (the Guardian) has begun a campaign to make the road 'safer'.

Typical of the stories doing the rounds is the one below.

The driver cloims that his car spun off the road, at low speed, for no reason whatsoever, and that he discovered that the exact thing had already happened to other drivers at that spot.

:shock:

http://www.thisischeshire.co.uk/cheshire/crewe/campaign/CREWE_CAMPAIGN5.html

'I crashed on Middlewich Road'
MOTORIST Paul Wilson crashed on a bend on the A530 between the Brynlow Drive and Clivegreen Lane junctions.


He said: "I was travelling at 40mph a safe distance behind another car, when with no warning my vehicle skidded across the road and ploughed into a field, rolling as it went.

"It was totally out of the blue, largely due to the low speed at which I was travelling.

"Luckily there was no oncoming traffic and I suffered only minor lacerations.

"I went to speak to the guy whose field it was and discovered that I was the fifth vehicle in as many days to have left the road on the same bend.

"I travel this road every day and have seen evidence of a further five vehicles having left the road in the same place since - a total of 12 in the last two months that I am aware of.

"The sheer number of accidents on a very innocuous bend precludes bad driving, speeding or not judging road conditions as the problem, but indicates a direct consequence of a serious flaw with the road itself."
 

lemonpie3

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I've heard stories about cursed bits of road and so on. Stuff like 'they knocked down a witch's house to build the road so she cursed it and now people crash there all the time' - the usual.

I'm sure we all know about magic hills where cars roll up the slope and so on, which made me wonder: perhaps in the below example there is an optical illusion going on, particularly as it sounds like it's on a bend. Could the bend be sharper than it looks? Second theory, perhaps the place in question is in a slight dip and gets patches of black ice more easily.

Personally I like the idea of bronze age warriors having been disturbed in their sleep getting petulant with the bloody traffic.
 

escargot

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I use that road a lot and used to drive to work on it every day. Turning right onto it can be a nightmare.

I asked a nurse in Intensive Care at the hospital just off it where their patients came from. Oh, mainly the road at the back here, was the reply.
:shock:

People have been seriously injured and killed within sight of the A&E department there.

What intrigues me is that

a. Some very serious accidents have happened at the same spots, near certain junctions for example, but the police still say that the road itself needs no modification.

b. Survivors of accidents often say that their vehicle seemed to crash for no reason.

I live locally and have heard lots of crash stories, mainly at second hand of course, and they often resemble the one I quoted above.

I drive very carefully indeed on that road and avoid it altogether if I can. I'm not superstitious - I just don't take any chances! :lol:
 

Semyaz

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There's a section of road near where I (used to) live on the A3400 between Stratford On Avon and Banbury that has had a series of accidents...some fatal...over the years. Most people attribute it to just bad luck, but I cant help but think it's a bit too unlucky...

...theres also this which is a personal favourite of mine...I always mention it too my sister everytime we used to (and still) go over it..

The Hairy Hands
The B3212 near Two Bridges has been the scene for one of the most frightening hauntings in Dartmoor, that of the phantom hairy hands, which try to push people of the road.

There was a death on this road in June 1921, a medical officer who worked in Dartmoor Prison was riding his motorcycle along the B3212 with his children in the side car. As he was coming up to the bridge that passes over the East Dart he shouted to his children to jump clear from the motorcycle. They managed to get clear as the bike went out of control and crashed killing the medical officer.

This may or may not be related to the next incident that was reported when a man crashed in the same spot, he claimed that a rough hairy pair of hands had closed around his and drove him off the road.
There have been several more stories over the years, but the one that is most often quoted is of the young married couple who were sleeping in a caravan nearby in 1924. During the night the young woman awoke with the feeling of terror and danger only to see a pair of hairy hands clawing their way up a partly open window. She made a holy sign and prayed and the hands slipped out of view.

It seems that the area had been avoided even before cars and motorbikes were common on the road, and there is a long tradition of supernatural creatures haunting the moorland.
Directions: The B3212 runs from Yelverton Northeast across Dartmoor to Sloncombe.

http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/engl ... evon3.html
 

Semyaz

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I should point out that the A3400 doesnt run between Stratford and Banbury...but it is a part of the old Roman road - the Fosseway...and it simply lies between these places....

...also...I mention the bridge to my sister just too scare her...the childishness never goes away ;)
 

glamour_dust

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Reminds me of a bit of the north bound highway here in my country (T&T).
It is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl who, whilst on the hillside flanking the roadway, was bitten by a snake and died. Her grief-stricken father erected a statue of her with the snake at her feet, and placed it on the hillside overlooking the highway. That's when the trouble began, with cars spinning out of control for apparently no reason near the spot. I have an uncle who claimed the very thing happened to him while he was on his way home after paying us a visit. Some drivers have claimed that they saw a phantom girl in the middle of the road and swerved to avoid her, thus having an accident. The spooky thing is the statue was actually visible from the road for a time, after some bush fires had cleared the surrounding field. I remember glancing at it curiously every day on my way to work back then. I think it has now been destroyed/removed for some reason, and I remember reading somewhere that it was actually a statue of Mary with her foot on a snake(Satan). Interesting local legend at any rate.
 

Hot_Cross_Nun

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I remember reading this, years ago and I can't remember where (so I have no references). A theory that some cases of repeated road accidents in particular spots could be explained by daylight or sunlight flashing through trees near the road (maybe only at certain times of the day, or under certain weather conditions) producing a strobe light effect as a vehicle travels past, and this "strobing" can affect some drivers.

Another theory involves ley lines. For example, in a novel called "Crybbe" by Phil Rickman, a dowser suffers an accident while driving his car where the road meets a ley line. In the same way, and for the same reason, that a forked hazel twig moves in his hands when he's dowsing for water or ley lines, his body reacts unconsciously to the ley line. His dowsing "muscles" or "sensibility" or whatever you'd call it, it kicks in, causing his hands to move enough (involuntarily) so that he accidentally steers off the road.
Only Rickman explains it better than me :oops:

I find both ideas interesting.

By the way - that novel and others by Phil Rickman - worth a read if you're into paranormal thrillers. :D
 

Mister_Awesome

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I remember a story about a turn that killed an unusual amount of people in a short period of time. Some sort of supernatural expert of some sort (or something) was consulted and they put a magnet under the curve in the road, and the accidents stopped. I can't remember any details, but I'm sure I have it around here somewhere, so I'm gonna look.
 

escargot

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I was on the 'dangerous' road today so I took a couple of snaps.

This is the site of many crashes. The blue police sign on the left is asking for witnesses to a collision a few weeks ago in which three people died.
There are still flowers on the verge just past the sign.

Since then there have been several more, non-fatal crashes near the same spot and the fence has been knocked down so many times, I wonder if the farmer will stop bothering to replace it.

A530.jpg
 

karlmarxismydad

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I remember hearing a couple of years ago that 'the most dangerous road in Britain' was (either) the A68 or A69 (can't remember which and can't be bothered to check a map!) - it's the one that cuts through the highlands.

It's a gorgeous road, but does tend towards windy s-bends, with mountains on one side, and the occasional sheer drop.

The number of accidents on this road doesn't seem like anything supernatural to me - it's just a product of the windiness, pretty (distracting) views, narrowness in places, blind corners and it's sheer length - you can drive a long long time between stops. It's a fairly deserted area, and my guess is that most people are travelling to the west or east coast in a hurry along it.

Still, it could always be the Jacobites getting their revenge on us Sassenachs. ;)
 

escargot

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I travel on the A666 occasionally and am always impressed by the dire warning noticeboards beside it detailing the number of deaths so far each year. :(
 

staticgirl

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I think the police may say there's no modification needed because that is the legal postition at present based on current research. I suspect that scientific research into why people crash vehicles is still in its infancy. I know that it is only recently that it's been decided that that black stuff that they put to seal where the road has been dug up causes more accients than previously thought (it's slippery). It has been proved that some roads do cause optical illusions because of the way they were designed. Sometimes it's due to poor positioning of signs etc.

That girl bitten by snake story doesn't half sound old-pagan...
 

escargot

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Hoo, a ghost road!

I came across this link in my favourites, dunno why I saved it unless to post it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2360815.stm


'Ghost mystery' of accident black spot


Villagers think a ghost could be to blame for a series of accidents on a country road.
Locals believe the ghost of a road accident victim from more than 60 years ago could be haunting a stretch of the A465 near Bromyard in Herefordshire.

A farmer says as many as 26 drivers have crashed into his fence in the same place over the last 18 months.

Some motorists have reported mysteriously losing control of the steering.

Checks on the cambers, speed checks and improved road markings have all failed to stop the crashes.

County councillor Richard James says some motorists who lost control of their vehicles reported the sensation of having their steering wheels pulled from their hands.
 
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