Road User Voice – August 2016 – Keeping roads open all-year round

29 July 2016

In July we were in the north east on a fact-finding mission. We also wanted to share our road users’ priorities for improvements research.

We visited Aone+, Highways England’s maintenance contractor in the north east. We particularly wanted to learn about the complexities and challenges it faces in keeping the road network open during a harsh winter.

We visited the Network Control Centre to see operation of the ‘Retriever’ motorcycles that tow broken down cars off Newcastle’s Western Bypass, helping to keep traffic flowing. We also experienced the differing road layouts of the A1 and A66 where sections can vary between dual and single carriageways. This can lead to congestion on the latter and extend journey times, which users dislike.

We also discussed some topics that users say are important:

  • road surfaces – road users’ top priority for improvement
  • roadworks – the need for improved accuracy and clarity in advance so users can plan their journeys
  • vegetation management – especially in front of road signs, so they are clear and visible.
The Retriever motorbike

The Retriever motorbike

The motorbike ready to tow a vehicle

The motorbike ready to tow a vehicle


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