New cone laying machines unveiled in UK
An innovative new method of laying cones will improve safety and cut congestion at roadworks
United Kingdom – The Highways Agency is to trial two new cone laying machines that will boost safety and reduce congestion at motorway roadworks.
Fixed to the rear of traffic management lorries, the machines will place and collect standard road cones, eliminating the need for road workers to stand close to fast-moving traffic.
Road users will therefore benefit from the shorter period of time taken to change from normal carriageway to coned-off area.
In addition, traffic cones will be laid and taken up more quickly, enabling more routine maintenance work to be undertaken during each closure and reducing the frequency of road works and congestion.
There are two machines currently being evaluated by the Agency’s partners, with production models expected to become a part of everyday traffic management operations next year.
In 2005, five road workers were killed in the course of their work on England’s motorways and major roads, making the motorway one of the most dangerous working environments in Britain.
The Agency and its contractors are committed to reducing the number of deaths and injuries on the roads and has asked drivers to help it prevent the death toll from rising with the publication of a new Road Worker Safety Action Plan in May 2006.
All road users are urged to drive with care and consideration and in particular to slow down near road works, keep within the signed speed limits and pay attention to road signs and works traffic.
Speed limits at roadworks are in place to protect both drivers and the workforce.
The Agency’s Safety at Roadworks campaign, launched in 2001, gives six simple messages: Drivers approaching road works are advised to:
- Keep within the speed limit – it is there for your safety.
- Get into the correct lane in good time – don’t keep switching.
- Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
- Be alert for works traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
- Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
- Observe all signs – they are there to help you.