Night patrols for south-west UK
Highways Agency traffic officers begin overnight patrols in the south-west.
United Kingdom – Traffic officers from the Highways Agency will begin patrolling the motorways of the south-west tonight to help traffic run as smoothly as possible.
Currently, these officers give aid at almost 100 incidents a day in the region, helping to beat congestion and give information to those who need it.
While traffic officers have patrolled the M5, M4, M32, M48 and M49 from morning until late evening until now, they will also operate through the night, using the regional control centre at Avonmouth as a base.
At the centre, they answer calls from emergency roadside telephones and set electronic overhead motorway signs to provide motorists with information during their journeys.
"I’m delighted to be able to extend the south-west traffic officer service to operate around-the-clock providing a service to our customers," said Andrew Page-Dove, network operations manager for the south-west.
"The motorway is normally quieter at night, but that doesn’t lessen the likelihood of incidents occurring. Now, we can be there to help them at any time of day or night."
The Agency has invested £9.3 million in the new service in the region.
It expects that by summer 2006, the regional control centre will be headquarters to 29 control room staff and 132 traffic officers who will monitor and patrol 209 miles of motorways across Avon & Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Devon.
The introduction of traffic officers is part of a government scheme to cut congestion and will form part of an England-wide Highways Agency traffic officer service, with around 1,500 staff based on road or in one of seven regional control centres.