Motorway disruption – Transport Focus correspondence
16 November 2017
On 19 September 2017 the M1 motorway was closed between Northampton and Milton Keynes for several hours after a suspicious substance was found at the roadside which was thought could be terrorist-related. A few days later on 23 September the M3 was closed at Winchester for several hours.
Nobody is pretending that dealing with an incident like this is easy, but Transport Focus feels that road users’ interests – particularly those ‘trapped’ in jams – were not as high up the agenda as they might have been.
Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith wrote to Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan raising questions about the speed with which ‘trapped traffic’ is released, how the welfare of road users is protected in the meantime and about communications with those who are stuck.
Our letter to Highways England is published below, together with the company’s reply. Transport Focus will continue to engage with Highways England until we are confident that road users’ interests are taken properly into account in the response to these difficult situations.