10 Most Dangerous Roads to Drive on in the UK

While many of us enjoy a road trip, are there some roads we should be more aware of than others? This article will look at the 10 most dangerous roads to drive on in the UK.

10 Most Dangerous Roads to Drive on in the UK

In 2021, there were a reported 1,390 deaths on UK roads, despite reduced traffic due to the pandemic. While accidents do happen, it appears that they happen more often on some roads than others, and you may end up needing a motoring offences solicitor.

Throughout the UK there are many scenic routes that attract visitors every year. To help you avoid falling foul to a dangerous driving offence, here are the 10 most dangerous roads to drive on in the UK to be aware of…

1.  Kirkstone Pass, A592, Cumbria

Passing through the stunning scenery of the Lake District, the Kirkstone Pass is the highest Pass in the region. It wends its way from Ambleside through to Patterdale in Ullswater.  

With many a twist, turn and stretching slope, the Kirkstone Pass is as perilous as it is beautiful and is no stranger to accidents. There were around 17 between 2013 and 2018, including some fatalities. Mountain rescue teams regularly have to rescue drivers in bad weather. 

As if you don’t have enough to worry about with this tricky road, locals will tell you that it’s also patrolled by a number of ghosts.

2.  Rosedale Chimney Bank, Yorkshire

Short but steep, with a gradient of 13 percent and a climb of approximately 568 feet during the 0.81 mile road. Particularly dangerous during the winter months, this treacherous road is regularly closed to motorists due to vehicle accidents. The road is known as the chain breaker’ by local cyclists; most of whom avoid it wherever possible.

3.  Cat and Fiddle Road, A537, Peak District

Sweeping between Macclesfield and Buxton, the Cat and Fiddle Road is an adventure to drive with the promise of a relaxing break at the Cat and Fiddle Inn at the summit. It is, however, also fraught with danger for motorists. 

The Cat and Fiddle Road is known locally as ‘The Widow Maker’, with 44 serious or fatal crashes reported on the road between 2007 and 2011. On this seven mile stretch, it’s easy to see how this nickname came around.

4.  Snowdonia Mountainous Passage, Wales

Set in breathtaking countryside, Snowdonia’s Mountainous Passage (the A496 connecting Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llaneltyd) is not one for the faint hearted.

With its dramatic twists and turns, the notorious road is the scene of a number of accidents for motorists every year. Mountain rescue teams are regularly called out to assist walkers in the area who have misjudged the treacherous terrain.

5.  A1, Rutland, East Midlands

One of the UK’s first named roads, this 410-mile stretch of road connects London to Edinburgh and serves between 59,000 and 69,000 vehicles per day. It’s probably little wonder then that this road sees a large number of traffic accidents, with a colossal five deaths per 10,000 people

6.  Snake Pass, A57, The Pennines

As its sinister name suggests, this road slithers its way across the Pennines with some twists and turns and an elevation of 1,680 feet. Engineered and opened by Thomas Telford in 1821, the A57 is known as one of the most dangerous roads in the region, with 137 accidents reported between 2014 and 2018. 

The dangers of Snake Pass are further complicated by the fact that the area experiences very poor mobile phone reception.

7.  Launceston to Lifton, A388, Devon

There’s a lot going on with this road, which runs from Devon to Cornwall. It’s known to be particularly hazardous for young and inexperienced drivers. From strange changes in light to unusual junctions, this route is as dangerous as it is stunning, and there were 17 serious collisions on the road between 2013 and 2018.

8.  Hardknott Pass, Cumbria

The Hardknott Pass in Cumbria is an ancient road which passes the famous Hard Knott Fort. Isolated and challenging, the road passes through Ambleside and the Langdale Valley with sweeping turns and hairpin bends which have caused numerous collisions for motorists who are unaccustomed to the conditions of the pass.

9.  West Sussex to Chichester, A258, Petworth

At 13.5 miles in length, the A258 starts at the A256 in Dover and passes through Castle Hill and Dover Castle, as well as running past the Duke of York’s Royal Military School. 

The road is notorious for accidents and collisions, including a serious collision between a motorcycle and a lorry in February of this year.

10. Orkney to Stromness, A965, Scotland

In the bleakly beautiful landscape of the Orkney Islands, the A965 serves as the main artery between Orkney and the Scrabster Ferry in Stromness. Often congested, the A965 links the two primary towns in Orkney, Kirkwall and Stromness.

It serves as a particularly important route as the majority of vehicular traffic for Orkney arrives at Stromness from the Scrabster Ferry. Known to be hazardous, particularly in adverse weather conditions, the road records 4110 incidents per 10,000 residents.

Plan your routes ahead and take extra on certain roads…

Driving can be a dangerous activity, and accidents can happen for a number of reasons, including driver error, bad weather and poorly conditioned roads.

While it’s a good idea to avoid roads which are known to be dangerous, this isn’t always possible. In this case, taking extra care and attention will help you to avoid running into an incident.