As part of a trial initiative announced last month, the traffic officers patrolled for the first time in Cornwall over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, with further trial patrols due to continue during the busy summer months.
But due to the initial success over the Easter period, Highways England has now extended the trial to cover the two Bank Holiday weekends in May.
Rob Penney, South West Service Delivery Manager for Highways England, said:
The aim of the initiative is to provide further assistance to motorists on our South West network, and we’re delighted to extend our service further south into Cornwall and to continue our close working partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council.
The Easter patrols provided real value and were well received, both by our partners and the public, and we dealt with and assisted 16 incidents over the five days.
On that basis, we have added the May patrols to the trial and although we were originally only focusing the initiative on the busier summer holiday months, we are confident that these extra patrols will help our customers and partner agencies during a busy travel weekend.
Highways England already works in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police, forming part of a multi-agency partnership in terms of safety and severe weather handling, and the trial is aimed at providing further support to Devon and Cornwall Police to help meet the demands of increased traffic volumes and related incidents on the A30 in Cornwall.
Traffic officers currently assist drivers in any difficulty, co-ordinate the resources of the emergency services, manage traffic to reduce incident-related congestion and clear debris from the carriageways.
The traffic officers will patrol the A30 between Carland Cross and Lifton Down and, based at Bodmin police station and Cornwall Council’s Castle Canyke depot during the peak holiday months, they will be closer at hand to provide assistance along the A30 and A38.
Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, head of roads policing for the Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police alliance, said:
Devon and Cornwall Police is delighted to expand its partnership working with Highways England into Cornwall.
This builds on the considerable success of the operational activity on the M5, A38 and A30 in Devon, where Highways England Traffic Officers have supported police resources in dealing with road traffic collisions and other incidents which have the potential to cause disruption on our strategic road network.
This ‘one team’ approach will undoubtedly help support communities and businesses who rely on a resilient and capable road network in Cornwall, during what will be the busiest periods of the year.
Highways England’s Traffic Officer service patrols England’s motorways and major A roads, helping to keep traffic flowing smoothly.
Traffic Officers are not an enforcement agency, but they do have the power to stop and direct traffic, close lanes and carriageways and manage traffic, and road users must obey their directions.
Traffic Officers help to keep roads running smoothly by attending incidents, ensuring the scene is safe, clearing the carriageway of debris, managing debris and supporting the emergency services.
They also deal with broken down and abandoned vehicles on the strategic road network, recovering vehicles that are causing a blockage or hazard, and ensure that the scene of an incident is safe, for road users and working partners.
For more information on the roles and responsibilities of a traffic officer you can visit the traffic officers web page.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.