Opinion Former Article

Countryside Alliance: Halt decline and curb fatalities on rural roads.

The Countryside Alliance has welcomed the Government's "THINK!" Rural Speed Campaign, but warns that poor road conditions are as much a factor in rural road accidents as speeding.

The Department for Transport's educational campaign, launched today, has found that you are three times more likely to be killed on a rural road than an urban one, and has warned motorists to reduce their speed.

Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, commented: "This is a very positive campaign aimed at reducing fatalities on rural roads - something we back wholeheartedly.

"However, a report by the very same Department for Transport, published in 2004, reported that un-classified roads in non-built up areas have the highest rate of deterioration since 1977, also a contributing factor to accidents. The poor state of rural roads must surely be as much as a factor as speed, and adequate maintenance of these roads should be an urgent priority.

"With sparsity and declining transport services in rural areas making cars a necessity, the upkeep of rural roads should be as important as the maintenance of urban roads. We agree with Government that rural motorists should reduce their speed, but decent roads will also help bring fatality rates down."

Ends.

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