The A70 has been given a royal seal of approval after the Ayrshire Roads Alliance was presented with an award by His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent for Britain’s most improved road.
Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are presented to companies or organisations in recognition of their outstanding contribution to improving road safety and are based on an annual Euro road safety assessment.
Between 2008 and 2013, the A70 between Cumnock and Ayr has seen a 94% reduction in the number of fatal and serious road accidents. In the two year period between 2008 and 2010 there were 16 accidents but only one in the following three year period.
Within East Ayrshire this was due to the introduction of a number of safety features including a review of the speed limit and the introduction of mobile speed cameras and warning signs. Engineering solutions played a large part in improving road safety. Measures included road re-alignments, junction improvements, removing bends on the road which were considered sub-standard and large sections of the road were also resurfaced.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Ayrshire Roads Alliance has been recognised by His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent with an International Road Safety Award. This award is based purely on statistical figures gathered annually at a European level and recognises the startling improvement on the A70.
“The Road Safety team approached the rural route action plan in a methodical way. Using the three E’s – Engineering, Education and Enforcement, they addressed the areas of concern on the A70.
“On many ‘A’ roads the margin for human error is very small and junctions remain the largest source of serious injury. By re-aligning, re-surfacing and re-designing sections of the A70, the team have effectively addressed the main problem areas.
“For the A70 to be named most improved road in Britain, is a real honour and is a reflection of the commitment displayed by our employees to make our roads safer.”
Within South Ayrshire the A70 has been widened and the road capacity has been increased between Dobbies roundabout and the A77 Holmston roundabout making the road much safer for motorists.
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “I am delighted with this recognition as it highlights the significant investment we have made to improve our roads network.
“South Ayrshire Council is spending around £10 million over five years to improve the quality of our roads and make them safer, which is the biggest investment in our roads network for more than 10 years. The award recognises our determination to work with partners to improve all aspects of our roads. The real winners are the motorists that use the A70, as they are the ones who will benefit.”