The council has made the decision to remove the signage, as the latest data shows that it is now having negligible impact on the number of collisions.
The Red Routes Casualty Reduction project was launched in 2007 through the Cheshire Camera Partnership, with Warrington Borough Council, Halton Borough Council and the previously unitary Cheshire County Council introducing the signage.
Routes were chosen for their high frequency of casualties, with the signage forming one part of a wider programme aimed at raising awareness of a heightened risk on these routes and educating motorists about unsafe driving behaviour.
Warrington currently has seven routes with Red Route signage, and the most recent data shows that there has been a marked reduction in collision and casualty numbers on these routes. However, as part of its wider safety work, the council carries out assessments on 105 routes across the network, and the Red Routes are now showing similar collision patterns with other routes across the borough.
This demonstrates that the Red Routes are no longer receiving any greater collision reduction over and above any of the other similar routes assessed, which has informed the council’s decision to remove this signage. Other factors are:
- Many of the signs are in a poor state.
- The casualty numbers given on the signs are out of date.
- There is a requirement from the government for highways authorities to ‘declutter’ the highway by removing unnecessary signs and posts.
In addition, a ‘Red Route’ historically means something different in London, relating to ‘no stopping’. Regulations changed in 2016 which now allow local authorities to also promote a ‘Red Route’ as an area where stopping is not permitted, and Warrington will soon be promoting its first Red Route on the A49 in Winwick. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the existing Red Route signage relating to road casualties, to avoid confusion about what the new Red Route signage (no stopping) means.
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for transport, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “Having been in place for more than 15 years, the time is right for us to remove our red route signs. The data shows that they are no longer making any real difference to the number of collisions, with their initial impact having diminished over the years on motorists who use the routes regularly.
“Warrington’s signs are out of date and in poor condition - and they fall under the national requirements for unnecessary road signs to be removed. In addition, our local authority partners who launched the red routes programme with us in 2007 are no longer supporting, or have already removed, their signage.
“We conduct a wide range of road safety work, implementing various measures, and will continue to monitor and assess routes across the borough. We will always consider the introduction of safety measures – such as speed limits, new signage and improved road markings - at specific locations, where necessary. Equally, we will continue our work delivering road safety training and education initiatives.”
The seven Red Route signs which will be removed in November are:
- Manchester Road (West of M6)
- Longford Street / Marsh House Lane / Padgate Lane
- Kingsway South / Kingsway North
- Wilderspool Causeway
- London Road
- Lovely Lane / Folly Lane / Kerfoot Street
- Manchester Road (East of M6)