Press release

Traffic officers hit the road to help motorists in Cornwall

Holiday makers and other road users along the A30 in Cornwall have been helped on their way by Highways England Traffic Officers during the school holiday season.

Traffic Officers and Police

As part of a trial announced earlier this year, Highways England’s traffic officers have been patrolling a section of the A30 in Cornwall for the first time during the busy holiday periods, and have been on hand to deal with everything from live lane breakdowns, road traffic collisions and debris clearance.

During the summer holidays, Highways England crews have attended a total of 112 incidents during the 31 days of patrols. And on the last Sunday in July, the traffic officers’ ‘powers of recovery’ averted major disruption on the westbound A30 as they were able to assist police by towing a broken down horsebox and vehicle to Okehampton Services.

The current patrols will come to an end on 10 September.

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 patrols have provided real value, they’ve been well received, and there may be scope to increase the patrols in the future, dependent on a review of this trial period.

Earlier trial patrols took place over the Easter and May Bank Holidays. During five days over Easter the traffic officers dealt with and assisted 16 incidents on the A30 between Carland Cross and Lifton Down, and during the May Bank Holiday weekend, they attended 13 incidents over the three days, 11 of which saw them help broken down vehicles to safety.

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.

welcome to cornwall
Welcome to Cornwall sign on the A30 near Liftondown

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 are currently patrolling the A30 between Carland Cross and Liftondown and, based at Bodmin police station and Cornwall Council’s Castle Canyke depot during the peak holiday months, they have been much closer at hand to provide assistance along both 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, particularly during 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.

As well as incident management, 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 Highways England traffic officer go to the traffic officer information page.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 4 September 2018