Statistics show that serious injury and death is seven times more likely to occur to drivers on single-carriageway A-roads than on motorways. The Road Safety Foundation analysed road traffic accident records and found that these roads were three times more dangerous in general than dual carriageways.
With this in mind it is perhaps unsurprising that driving the A537, part of which forms the “Cat and Fiddle” road, can be one of the most dangerous drives in the country according to a 2008 survey.
The road stretches between Macclesfield and Buxton and 7 and a half miles within the Peak District National Park recorded four serious or fatal collisions for every kilometre over a 5 year period.
The road itself is pretty straight until you reach the Cat and Fiddle Inn at 520m and then the difficult decent to Macclesfield follows a series of sharp, continuous bends, many of which are blind.
Since there are only two roads entering Macclesfield as you approach from the east, long-distance traffic merges with local and tourist vehicles. This means that heavy goods vehicles mingle with caravans, cyclists and walkers who are heading for the Peak District National Park as well as motorcyclists looking for a fun ride on the sharp bends.
As if all these different forms of transport and the difficulty of the road itself wasn’t enough there are also frequent livestock straying across the road and in the winter bad weather can make passing even more dangerous and the risk of traffic accidents on the road higher.
What has been done
The speed limit on this section is 50mph, reduced from the national 60mph limit and police regularly patrol in unmarked vehicles and use a mobile speed camera van most weekends in summer.
The local road authorities have also made attempts to increase safety by introducing barriers and high visibility signs for motorbike safety since around 70 per cent of accidents on the road involve bikes. High-friction surfacing has also been added, red warnings painted on the road and the carriageway widened with nearly £2million spent on improving conditions to reduce vehicle accidents.
These improvements have definitely worked as the Road Safety Foundation top ten list of dangerous roads no longer contains the “Cat and fiddle.”
If you have suffered an injury caused by an accident on the road that was somebody else’s fault then call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 and we can assist you in making a claim for compensation.