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Red Routes

Red routes are roads designated as the most dangerous sections of highways in the county.

Through in-depth analysis of road collisions across the county the most affected sections of highway are designated 'Red Routes' and are subject to an investigation by a working group comprising expert practitioners from Northamptonshire Highways and our Safer Road Alliance partners.

This group meets on a regular basis in order to survey and profile the Red Routes using an evidence led approach. Their remit is to reduce road casualties through engineering, enforcement and educational interventions at these locations.

Red Route designation

The criteria for Red Route designation is 4 injury collisions, which result in at least one person being killed or seriously injured, within a 1000 metre stretch of road in a rural environment, and over a 500 metre stretch within an urban area, over the most recent 3 full calendar years.

Through constant data monitoring emerging areas of concern can be quickly identified and routes assigned ‘Flashing Amber’ status for ongoing scrutiny.

Evidence-led approach

In order to carry out studies, Northamptonshire Highways maintains a database of all personal injury collisions within the county which have come to the attention of the police, on both the local and trunk network. Information is stored from as far back as 1 January 2000.

Collision data analysis is the key element in identifying ‘at risk’ road user groups and the most collision affected sections of the road network. Activity can then be directed to where it is most effective.

The police no longer routinely attend or record non-injury collisions and the Department for Transport do not require this information from local authorities. Provided that all the conditions of the Road Traffic Act are met then there is no obligation for a motorist to report a non-injury collision to the police. Damage only collisions are not analysed.

Red Routes in Northamptonshire

To date over 175 Red Routes have been profiled, many of which have benefitted from a range of effective measures which means that a significant proportion are no longer ‘active’ due to reductions in the collision rates.

Road network in Northamptonshire

Major: trunk roadsMajor: principal roadsMinor roadsTotal road length
​224.2km498.5km​3799.1km4521.8km

​Major trunk roads are those which are managed by National Highways.

Several of these roads have historical red routes on them but even though some have high levels of collisions which result in at least one person being killed or seriously injured they are only monitored, as Northamptonshire Highways are not able to investigate any engineering measures on this part of the road network.

Last updated 10 June 2022