Maintaining safety on the A77
The A77 Safety Group was established in 2004 to help deliver a positive change in driving behaviour and improve road safety on the route.
The A77 connects Ayrshire and the central belt, and is strategically important, serving not only commuters and communities along the route, but also the freight and tourism traffic from the ferry ports at Loch Ryan and Troon, and the International Airport at Prestwick.
Historically however, the section of the route between Symington and Girvan had a poorer than average safety record, and when the Group was established casualties were increasing, rather than falling in line with the national trend. To improve road safety, and following consideration of education, engineering, and enforcement measures, the Group recommended the installation of the UK’s first route based Average Speed Camera system along the key risk area. This was completed in Summer 2005, when the system went live.
A77 Improvement Works
Alongside the installation of the Average Speed Camera system, a range of engineering measures have since been delivered on the route. These include:
- £10.6m Symington to Bogend Toll scheme, providing safer access to and from the A77 by removing the need for right hand turns with two flyover junctions built
- Over £4m invested annually to maintain safe operations
A77 Average Speed Cameras
The A77 Average Speed Camera system covers some 32 miles from Bogend Toll near Symington to Ardwell Bay, south of Girvan. The reduction in accidents and fatalities delivered by Average Speed Camera systems speak for themselves. Since the system was installed on the route, there has been a 57% reduction in fatal and serious casualties (based on comparison between 3yr baseline average and 10yr post installation average).
As with all safety camera enforcement, the system is focussed on reducing casualties and accidents and delivering improvements in driver behaviour, and excellent levels of speed limit compliance have also been observed over the past ten years. However, as with any other infrastructure on the trunk road network, the system has an optimum design life and is becoming increasingly expensive and challenging to maintain.
To ensure improved safety performance continues, it is intended therefore to replace the existing system. Technological advances also provide an opportunity to revise some aspects of the enforcement strategy, and to reduce the total number of camera sites on the route. Installation will begin around February, with completion late Spring 2016.
A77 – Bogend Toll to Dutch House Roundabout
The ASC system currently enforces the 50mph limit from Bogend Toll to Dutch House Roundabout. The reduction from the national speed limit on this section of the route was implemented as an interim measure alongside the proposed £10.6m programme of engineering improvements.
With the completion of these engineering works, it is appropriate to return this section of the route to the national speed limit. We intend to closely monitor driver behaviour at the national speed limit and will consider the cameras’ removal from this section based on performance.