The Freight Transport Association says a new Government ban on long stretches of motorway roadworks could reduce delays and cut costs for HGV operators.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is reported to have told Highways England to introduce new rules for contractors to prevent motorists getting stuck in lengthy queues. He also wants better communication with road users so they understand the reason for works and plan alternative routes where necessary.
Motorway disruption is expected to increase as the Government’s £15.2 billion plan to improve the strategic road network gets underway. More than three-quarters of England’s motorways and major A-roads will be resurfaced and more than 1,300 miles of road will be built by 2020.
Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s Head of road network management policy said: “Long stretches of roadworks create a series of problems for our members – it’s an issue that they constantly complain about.
“We know that for the largest vehicles it costs £1 for every minute they’re stuck in traffic. Limiting roadworks to two-mile stretches could considerably reduce the time they’re delayed. Nose-to-tail shunts are more prevalent in queues of slow moving traffic too, so hopefully this will also cut the number of accidents in roadworks.”
Currently the longest stretch of roadworks runs between junctions 28 and 31 of the M1 near Chesterfield – more than 18 miles.
Bingham added: “Anything that keeps traffic flowing and reduces delays is welcome – time is money for all transport operators.”