The UK’s road network covers an impressive 245,000 miles, with approximately 40 million vehicles navigating them daily. The country’s roads have improved a lot since their humble beginnings 2000 years ago, but not all roads have been created (or maintained!) equal. As the people who spend the most time and travel the most miles on this nation’s roads do you know what the best and worst roads to drive on are?
How do you define what are the best and worst roads? We’ve looked at things like safety, traffic, availability of services and scenic beauty to compile our list.
A74 – This road was one of the main connections between Scotland and England, but since the opening of the M74 in the 60’s this former mail route now sees less traffic. The A74 has now become a favourite dual carriageway due to its low traffic and excellent maintenance.
A404 – Once you leave London and enter Buckinghamshire, you can expect a particularly fast and smooth journey between Maidenhead and High Wycombe. This road is also well stocked with plenty of services.
A75 – The A75’s 95-mile-long surface has had continuous improvements, the most recent being the £340k project to repair potholes and structural cracking between Kirkcudbright junction and Barncrosh. The maintenance attention this road receives mean it’s one of the more enjoyable roads to drive on in the UK. Although if you’re superstitious watch out, this road is supposedly haunted!
A6 – Particularly between Leicester and the Peak District, and between Carnforth and Carlisle – this road combines a lot of services for motorists, varied and interesting landscapes, good maintenance and fast surfaces.
Special mentions – For roads that have improved their safety standards, a special mention needs to go to the A4 between Llandovery and Carmarthen, the A605 as it passes through Cambridgeshire, the A453, and the A38 between Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
A537 – Known as the Cat and Fiddle Road because of the Cat and Fiddle Inn at its summit, this road is both picturesque and dangerous. Popular among bikers because of its many twists and bends, it is the frequency and severity of these bends along with livestock straying on to the road that causes many of its fatalities. The road is even more dangerous in severe weather, particularly snow which causes the road to “close itself”.
A43 – The A43 has a few notoriously dangerous stretches, namely between Torcester and Corby, and between Northampton and Kettering. The high number of fatalities on this road usually involves trucks.
M25 – The busiest roads are unsurprisingly the ones nearest the capital – the M25 is well known for its semi-permanent congested status, and on several occasions, it has been voted as the country’s worst road.
A18 – A 10 mile stretch of the A18 from Laceby to Ludborough in Lincolnshire has been labelled as one of the most dangerous roads in the UK. The number of fatal accidents on the road was 17 in 2013 and continues to rise year on year. The characteristics of the road are to blame for the high accident rate – it is narrow and lined with trees on both sides, making it even more dangerous at night.
Do you agree with us or do you have any roads you’d add to the list?