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Research helps authorities manage skid resistance on local roads

Research funded by the Road Safety Trust into the relationship between skid resistance and collision risk for a typical local authority road network will provide ‘improved outcomes’ for road users and taxpayers, a report says.

Many highway authorities routinely measure skid resistance on their key routes and carry out targeted improvements to reduce the risk of collisions. Typically, decisions about when and where to invest are guided by the research and approaches taken for national road networks.

For local authorities, whose roads have different geometries, junction types, traffic speeds and traffic flow, the lack of evidence to support a risk-based approach poses a challenge for the effective management of their networks.

The research project, carried out by Derby City Council, Enodamus Ltd and XAIS Asset Management Ltd with funding from the Road Safety Trust, set out to understand the link between skid resistance and collision risk on local roads. Researchers analysed data from 11 authorities, including road attributes, skid resistance, collision history (injury collisions from STATS19) and traffic flow.

As a result, they have developed a new approach to the issue, with new thresholds and decision-making frameworks to support prioritisation of maintenance funding. If proven through trials, it is hoped the LASR approach will facilitate improved outcomes for road users and tax payers by targeting the locations that deliver the greatest safety benefits from skid resistance treatments.

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