News story

Government launches new congestion-busting guidance

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Seven new traffic advisory leaflets to cut down on congestion and speed up the completion of road works.

New guidance that will help reduce congestion and speed up the completion of road works has been published by the Department for Transport today (12 November 2014).

The 7 traffic advisory leaflets provide cost-effective and time-saving tips for utility companies and highway authorities who need to carry out work on our roads.

It’s estimated that delays from street works cost the economy around £4.3 billion a year.

The leaflets are the culmination of a £1 million research initiative between the Department for Transport and Transport for London, which was funded through revenue raised by the London Lane Rental Scheme.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:

Delays on our roads are not only a headache for motorists but are costing our economy billions of pounds a year. These leaflets will be an indispensable guide to those people working on our roads, providing top tips for getting the job done safely and on time.

One technique that has been vital to cutting congestion is the Core and Vac process, sometimes known as keyhole surgery for roads. The technique, which was originally developed for gas companies in the US, allows utility companies to drill down to underground pipes and valves without causing massive damage to the road.

National Grid found the technique typically reduces a 5 day job to just half a day. It estimates that between April 2011 and March 2014 in London delays to the travelling public were cut by 5,670 days.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London said:

Poorly planned roadworks can lead to substantial delays and added frustration for all road users. London has led the way with developing a roadworks permit scheme and the UK’s first lane rental scheme. Both these have helped to reduce the number of works taking place in peak hours by encouraging companies to work together and develop new, innovative methods. These new traffic advisory leaflets will help pass on valuable lessons to allow utility companies and other highway authorities across the UK to reduce congestion and keep the UK moving.

Other innovative techniques include mapping underground pipes and cables to help utility companies know exactly where to dig when making repairs.

Bob Collis, Director of Infrastructure Division at TRL, said:

We are delighted to have been involved in this exciting initiative that helps to reduce congestion caused by road works. The launch of the new traffic advisory leaflets is a big step forward for the industry in providing local authorities with innovative congestion reducing solutions that will help make our roads better for motorists.

The traffic advisory leaflets are:

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