Connect Plus Services, the company that looks after the M25 on behalf of the Highways Agency, has played a significant role in helping to develop a traffic management method that reduces live carriageway crossings.
The method, which has now been approved for use on the English motorway network, will prevent millions of crossings being made by road workers across busy live carriageways in front of traffic travelling at fast speeds.
Road maintenance is one of the riskiest employment sectors to work in with 13 road workers killed while carrying out their duties on motorways and major A roads in England over the past 10 years.
Trials carried out by Connect Plus Services, with the support of the Road Workers’ Safety Forum (an industry body which develops ways to improve the health, safety and welfare of road workers), the Highways Agency and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), have shown that improved overhead electronic signage and nearside signage removes the need for temporary central reservation signage as a way of encouraging motorists to slow down on the approach to roadworks.
The method was piloted and implemented on over 1,000km of the network over a two year period by Connect Plus Services, (a joint venture partnership between Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Roads SA), with support from Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald, and has already saved over a million road worker crossings.
The removal of the need to place central carriageway signage across live carriageways applies to carriageways of over three lanes and will be a major contributor to the Highways Agency’s target of eliminating all live carriageway crossings by road workers by December this year.
Paul Mitchell, Highways Agency head of health & safety and chair of the RoWSaF working group, said: “The road working profession has for far too long been one of the highest risk types of employment with 13 lives lost in the past decade. The reduction of live carriageway crossings is a key part of removing that risk and we are delighted that through collaboration with Connect Plus Services we have been able to find a way of doing so without impacting on the safety of motorists who need to be alert to approaching roadworks.”
Brian Johns, managing director at Connect Plus Services, added: “The safety of our road workers is our highest priority and I am pleased that we have been able to remove the majority of road worker crossings to place signage helping to ensure our people can return home safely at the end of every shift.”
The Traffic Management Contractors Association (TMCA) will be demonstrating ways of eliminating carriageway crossings at this year’s Seeing is Believing. As part of its ‘Aiming for Zero’ initiative the Highways Agency has a target to remove carriageway crossings by the end of 2014. The TMCA will be demonstrating both the issues and solutions at Seeing is Believing. Places will be limited so please register and reserve your free demo slot today.