Drivers have been fined after breaking through overnight roadworks near Manchester Airport, the Highways Agency has revealed.
The fines were confirmed as Highways Agency contractors in the North West started trialling new barriers (pictured) to prevent drivers hurtling towards roadworkers on repair jobs
The police action over drivers removing cones and driving through roadworks centred around three nights of overnight repairs at Junction 5 of the M56 at Manchester Airport in October of last year.
A slip road from the airport onto the M56 was closed to drivers while resurfacing and barrier improvements took place – with a five minute diversion via Junction 6 at Hale Barns in place.
A number of drivers were reported by Greater Manchester Police after being spotted by officers moving cones and pulling away barriers to use the slip road where the works were taking place.
Three drivers have since completed driver improvement courses while two others received three penalty licence points each and fines of £235 and £165. Two other drivers were also reported and also face being fined.
The action follows an initiative unveiled last year by A-one+, the Highways Agency’s main maintenance contractor for Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and south Lancashire, following breaches in the major roadworks along the M60 near Ashton-under-Lyne.
Then, following several reports of drivers breaking through roadworks, roadworkers were issued with new guidelines to help them report drivers and help the police secure convictions.
Meanwhile, the new steel barriers, which have been tried successfully at several roadworks and road traffic collisions in Cheshire and Greater Manchester over the last six months, provide a much more effective physical barrier to drivers than sealing off the road with cones.
The barriers have been used to seal off slip roads and are always accompanied by clear signing and flashing lights to warn drivers.
Matt Sweeting, the Highways Agency’s Regional Performance Manager, said: “It is important to publicly thank Greater Manchester Police for pursuing this action and prosecuting drivers who have put roadworkers’ lives and their own lives at risk by driving through roadworks simply to shave a few minutes off their journeys.”