Road User Voice – July 2016 – Being CLEAR about road incidents
05 July 2016
What should be done for drivers stuck for hours in traffic?
Earlier in the year drivers faced severe disruption after an incident closed the M6 in the Midlands for almost 24 hours. Inconvenience, frustration and in some cases welfare issues resulted.
Transport Focus believes that more needs to be done by Highways England and other organisations such as the emergency services to reduce the impact. This means keeping people informed, releasing trapped traffic and ensuring that anyone with a medical problem should be a higher priority for getting out..
It is important that those responsible for managing road incidents are well co-ordinated. It is also critical that the needs of the road users stuck in queues are put at the heart of thinking.
Highways England and the emergency services have a scheme called CLEAR that should help deliver this. CLEAR – COLLISION – LEAD – EVALUATE – ACT – REOPEN is aimed at opening lanes quickly and getting traffic moving again.
The scheme has led to improvements including ways to tow HGVs out of the way and collision investigation laser scanners that all speed up the opening of a road after an incident.
It’s good to see Highways England and others looking at new ways to open the road more quickly after incidents, but Transport Focus wants to see the needs of people trapped in traffic brought further into this thinking. We also want to be sure that road users up and down the country are getting a high level of consistency on these issues regardless of where they are.