How safe is the A9 now?
The A9 has been renowned as one of the most dangerous roads to travel on in Scotland. Such was the level of concern about casualties on the stretch of road from Inverness to Dunblane, the A9 Safety Group was set up by the Scottish Government in 2012.
The key objective of this task force was to improve driver behaviour and subsequently improve the safety of road users.
Working closely with organisations such as Police Scotland and Bear Scotland, the Safety Group have implemented plans that they believe would have a positive effect on driver behaviour.
One of the most controversial strategies was the installation of average speed cameras in October 2014. Many regular road users were sceptical as to whether they would actually work and felt that the only result would be increased journey times.
Have the average speed cameras served a purpose?
In April 2018, the A9 Safety Group released a Data Monitoring and Analysis Report aiming to show the statistical differences since the installation of the cameras.
The number of drivers exceeding the speed limit prior to the installation of the cameras was one in three whereas now it has decreased to just one in fifteen. The impact of this on the safety of the road is clear to see from the data collated. Since 2014, there has been 10 fewer lives lost and 96 fewer injuries than in the comparative figures between 2011 and 2013.
In particular, the Perth to Inverness stretch of the A9 has seen the biggest changes, with the average number of fatal and serious casualties down by more than 32%.
How much longer is your journey taking?
The latest statistical analysis has shown that between Perth and Inverness, the variation in the length of time a journey will take is now between three and three and a half minutes. However, since 2013, the length of time that road user’s journeys are lengthened as a result of incidents on the road has lowered by a massive 25%.
What’s next for the A9?
The Government have made it clear that work remains to be done to try and further reduce the number of casualties on the A9 – despite the progress since 2013, there is still an average of four deaths per year.
The long term aim is to upgrade a stretch of 80 miles of road from single carriageway to dual carriageway by 2025 at a cost of £3bn. MSPs are confident this remains on track and it is hoped that road users will see the benefit of reduced journey times but will also see a much safer road.
At Digby Brown, we see all too often the devastating impact of road traffic accidents on the A9 and we welcome these changes to reduce unnecessary accidents on our roads.
However, even if you are careful and mindful on the road, there is always a danger that you may suffer an accident. If you have been injured a road traffic accident that was not your fault, it is important to seek expert, independent legal advice as soon as possible. Find out more about the process at What is the procedure of making a claim?