Jam-busting traffic officers success
The Highways Agency’s traffic officers have helped reduce congestion in the West Midlands.
United Kingdom – The Highways Agencyâ€˜s traffic officer service on West Midlands motorways has contributed towards a 13 per cent reduction in incident-related congestion in the region.
New figures show that the traffic officers have beaten their targets and attended 90 per cent of incidents within 15 minutes.
They also cleared 83 per cent of incidents with 30 minutes and saved time for local emergency authorities by managing non-injury incidents, answering emergency roadside telephones, setting overhead signs and removing major debris from the carriageway.
This has led to more police time being freed up, which has resulted in a 122 per cent increase in criminal arrests on the roads.
Broken down motorists have also received help from traffic officers.
"This is excellent news for the travelling public," says Douglas Alexander, secretary of state for transport.
"Traffic Officers are a new service and they are already starting to make a real difference to congestion and the reliability of journeys."
Approximately 1,000 incidents a day are being attended by traffic officers across the country.
They provide important assistance during major incidents, such as the Buncefield Oil Depot fire.
Traffic officers in the region helped manage the M1 and M10 and traffic in the area by implementing rolling roadblocks to keep the traffic moving at a safe speed through dense smoke.
The traffic officer service, which is part of a congestion-beating government initiative, has 1,384 uniformed staff working from seven new regional control centres and will be up to its full complement of 1,500 by summer 2006.