Speech

Transport Research Laboratory stakeholder event

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

Speech mentioning the benefits of driving simulators and encouraging good driving behaviours as well as road investment.

Transport Research Laboratory stakeholder event

Hello. I’m sorry I can’t be there with you at TRL today (17 June 2013) because of other commitments. But I did want to take this opportunity to welcome you, albeit virtually, and say a few words about this event.

We have an enviable road network. Millions of people depend on it to get to work or school, to deliver their goods on time, to visit a friend or go on holiday.

To each road user, their journey is the most important one. And every single journey is important to the government, we want to make them as smooth and as reliable as possible. Not only is it a priority for road users, it’s vital for the economy. It’s estimated that the cost of congestion in the UK is around £4 billion a year.

Managed motorways, and the all-lane running design, provide a quick, safe and viable solution for congestion, so making journey times more reliable.

Today (17 June 2013) you’re not only going to hear why all-lane running is an efficient way of getting the best out of some of the most congested sections of motorway in England, thanks to a simulator you’re going to experience the concept as well.

I’ve driven the simulator and it reinforced my understanding of the design: I could clearly see the overhead signals and understood what was expected of me, as a driver. I have no doubt that our motorways, already some of the safest in the world, will not only maintain their levels of safety, but improve them.

I’m aware there are concerns about people breaking down in live lanes. This is something that the agency identified very early on, and has worked hard to hard to mitigate the effects of this happening.

And by working with key partners and our supply chain to agree operational protocols, this will help ensure smooth and safe operations for when managed motorways are up and running.

In turn, through a public campaign, we will be encouraging good driving behaviours, such as observing and understanding signs, complying with speed limits, keeping well maintained vehicles, having enough fuel for journeys, what to do in a breakdown and so on.

Today (17 June 2013) is your opportunity to learn more about the research, thinking and science that has gone into managed motorways all-lane running. I’m sure you’ll not only find your experience here today beneficial, but an enjoyable one too.

Thank you.