A strategy to tackle congestion caused by motorway closures in the UK was unveiled by Roads Minister Mike Penning, who revealed that the financial impact of the closures on the economy could be as high as £1 billion.
The Minister also announced the launch of a £3m budget for police forces to purchase laser scanning technology that will help to speed up of the investigation process. The aim is to balance the need to investigate serious accidents thoroughly with the need to re-open the roads as soon as possible afterwards.
Mike Penning said:
“There is nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end. But even worse than that is the shocking £1 billion cost of those lost hours for our economy. That is why we are determined to improve clear-up times following accidents so we can get our motorways re-opened as quickly as possible.”
At the high-level summit in London today, the Roads Minister, Home Office, Highways Agency and police, fire and ambulance chiefs will commit to a 10 point action plan.
The review will look at ways to ensure that road closures only take place when they are absolutely necessary and will aim to re-open them quickly to keep traffic moving, reducing the cost to business.
It follows a joint review of investigation and closure procedures for motorway incidents led by the Department for Transport, working in partnership with the Home Office, Highways Agency and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), which is published today on the DfT website.
Chief Constable Phil Gormley (ACPO lead for Roads Policing) said: “This review has highlighted a number of innovative ways in which such closures can be minimised.”