Safety measures on a road once dubbed one of the most dangerous in the country have proved so effective that it has dropped out of the Road Safety Foundation’s top 10 ‘persistently higher risk roads’ for the first time.
The A537 Macclesfield to Buxton road, known locally as the ‘Cat & Fiddle road’, no longer features in the top 10 of ‘Britain’s persistently higher risk roads’ (2007/09 – 2010/12).
Investment from Cheshire East Council and its partners, as well as Derbyshire County Council, has led to a number of road safety improvements and the number of accidents have dropped significantly.
There were 44 collisions between 2009 and 2011, 19 of which were serious, including one fatality. Latest figures show there were 34 collisions between 2011 and 2013, seven being serious and no fatalities.
Safety measures include improved road barriers, some that are ‘motorcycle friendly’, a 50mph speed limit and the installation of average speed cameras. Regular road maintenance, including resurfacing and renewed road markings, have also kept the route in good condition.
Lorraine Butcher, executive director of strategic commissioning at Cheshire East Council, said: “It is really very good news that this route, used by a large number of Cheshire East residents, is no longer amongst the top 10 persistently higher risk roads.
“However, the Council recognises the route is still a high risk road and, in conjunction with its partners in the Cheshire Road Safety Group (CRSG) and neighbouring authorities, it will build on the good work done to date.”
Cheshire East Council has agreed a new five-year calibration and maintenance contract for the average speed camera system through to summer 2019.
The Cat & Fiddle road is very popular with motorcyclists and lies within the Peak District National Park which is a popular tourist destination.
With the Easter holidays approaching, Cheshire East Council and its partners in the CRSG remain committed to promoting the safe use of the route by all road users and to encouraging riders to use it responsibly.