The Top 10 Most Dangerous Roads in the UK

17th February 2022 Personal Injury

The UK is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. However, it is also home to some of the most dangerous roads. From scary hilltop drives to sharp winding bends, even the best of drivers can find themselves overwhelmed by the challenges that lie ahead of them. 

Planning your journeys ahead can be extremely beneficial - especially if you know your journey involves travel on dangerous roads. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 10 most dangerous roads in the UK. 

The A592 - Kirkstone Pass

Kirkstone Pass is located in the gorgeous Lake District at the highest pass. The road sweeps through from Ambleside in the Rothay Valley over to Patterdale in Ullswater. 

This road is filled with sharp bends, and stretching slopes and locals refer to it as ‘The Struggle’. The highest point reaches 1,489 feet. Despite the beautiful surrounding scenery, it's important to maintain complete concentration when driving on this road. 

The A496 - Snowdonia’s Mountainous Passage

If you've ever been to Snowdonia before, you'll already know about the twisting roads that weave their way around the area. One of those roads is the infamous A496 that connects Llanelltyd to Blaenau Ffestiniog. 

This road is surrounded by impressive landscapes with coastal views, clusters of villages, and mountainous passages along the route. However, these impressive surrounding views come at a price as many motorists have been caught out and found themselves in accidents along the way over the years. 

The A57 - Snake Pass

Snake Pass is one of the few roads in the UK that really lives up to its name. It makes its way through the Pennines with winding bends throughout and was once the main route between Sheffield and Manchester. 

This road was first opened back in 1921 and was engineered as the main linking road between Glossop in the Pennines and Ashopton’s Ladybower Reservoir. Today, the road is known as one of the most accident-prone roads in the UK, with 137 accidents recorded between 2014-2018. The area is particularly vulnerable to ice, snow, and subsidence, so it's worth finding a different route if you plan to visit this area during the winter months.

Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass is considered to be one of the most challenging in the UK. It has earned this consideration due to its series of hairpin bends and the high risk of ice on the road. It is a steep, twisting, single-track road that cuts right through the heart of the Lake District between the Duddon Valley and Eskdale. 

It is an ancient road, and it is home to Hardknott Fort, which is one of the loneliest outposts of the Roman Empire, overlooking the pass. It’s important when driving on this road that you don’t get distracted by the epic landscape and history-rich hills along the way. 

The A1 - Rutland

The A1 was one of the first roads to earn a name during the 1920s. It is one of the longest roads in Britain and links Edinburgh to London. Along its stretch, it passes through Rutland in the East Midlands, which is home to around 38,000 residents. Shockingly, the number of fatalities on the road in this region is equal to around five deaths per 10,000 people. 

With a high percentage of lorry traffic and high levels of congestion, this road is at an increased risk of accidents. If you're planning a journey that features this stretch of road, it might be worth finding an alternate route with lower potential risks and less congestion. 

The A388 - Launceston to Lifton

The A388 weaves its way through rural hillsides and features a lot of steep inclines and bends along the way. This road is particularly dangerous for young drivers. Locals of the area are always on high alert for potential accidents. 

Between the years 2013-2018, there were 17 collisions on this road of varying severity and, sadly, some fatalities. With many changes in lighting along the way and some untimely junctions, the A388 is a dangerous route to take. 

The A537 - Cat and Fiddle Road

The Cat and Fiddle Road stretches between Macclesfield and Buxton. For some motorists, this road is a real treat to drive due to its beautiful views along the way. The road is packed full of variety, from sweeping Peak District twists and turns, to the steep climb to the iconic Cat and Fiddle Inn that lies at the top. However, many drivers find this a very difficult drive. Unfortunately, many drivers have experienced the wrath of this challenging road, sustaining injuries, close-calls, or even death. 

The A537 has persistently been a high-risk road over the years and regularly appears as one of the most dangerous roads in the UK. 

The A258 - Petworth, West Sussex to Chichester

This particular road is home to some very long, fast straights and several sharp bends. Plus, the road is prone to terrible visibility. This is not a road to be driven on lightly. It features sudden elevation and several residential areas along the way, making it very unpredictable and dangerous. 

Whether you’re driving in the summer with blinding sunlight or driving in the harsh winter conditions, it’s very important to take caution when travelling along this dreadful route. 

The A303/A371 - Gateway to Somerset

Throughout this landscape lie several iconic landmarks, including Castle Cary, Stonehenge, and Cheddar Gorge. The A371 and the A303 have become home to heavy holiday traffic and provide the main route for most commuters within the surrounding areas. 

This 12-mile stretch features sudden drops, light-altering tree tunnels, and soft verges, plus a whole host of twists and turns along the way. In combination with stressed-out commuters, road works, and heavy traffic, it's no surprise that this road has become well-known for being one of the south-west's most dangerous roads. 

Rosedale Chimney Bank

Rosedale Chimney Bank is known by cyclists as ‘Chain Breaker’. This road features a steep challenge that even modern cars can struggle with. The 13% incline means that this road is one of two of the shared steepest roads in England, alongside the daunting Hardknott Pass. 

Despite Rosedale Chimney Bank not being a major road, it is still home to minor levels of traffic that takes vehicles through the North Yorkshire Moors. It connects Hutton-le-Hole to Rosedale Abbey. You can expect dizzying heights, super-fast drops, and a stressfully steep hill climb along the route. This road is definitely not one for the fainthearted and one that should be avoided if possible. 

The UK, despite being a very small island, is home to some of the most challenging and dangerous roads around. Whether you’re looking to take on the epic highlands or sweep your way through the North Yorkshire Moors, it’s important to always be prepared, no matter what.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, find out how you could make a claim for compensation by visiting our dedicated page. Alternatively, get in touch with our friendly team of personal injury solicitors today by calling 0800 054 6570.

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Richard Powell is a Partner and Head of Department located in Manchesterin our Personal Injury department

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