The UK Roads Minister, Robert Goodwill, has announced that roads could soon officially be given ‘star ratings’ for safety by road authorities. The announcement was at the launch of the Road Safety Foundation report commissioned by major insurer Ageas, Making Road Safety Pay, which recommended that minimum in-built safety levels of 4-stars are needed for the busiest national roads in Britain and minimum 3-stars for all other national roads by 2025. The Making Road Safety Pay report also recommended that major local authority roads needed to achieve the minimum 3-star level by 2030 with much safety upgrading undertaken during normal maintenance – a strategy also recently endorsed by the Catalan regional government in Spain following work in partnership with RACC.
The Minister said said the national highway authority and local authority councils had been asked to “consider the merits” of officially adopting a five-star rating system.
He said star ratings for vehicles and roads around the world have had a “positive impact” and that “such a system could help simplify future road safety policy.”
The Minister’s announcement was followed by the publication of a strategic investment plan for national roads by the newly created Highways England which, like ASFINAG in Austria, is a wholly government owned corporation. Highways England pledged in its strategic plan to support for the development of iRAP’s star rating systems.