Motorway accident review to cut supply chain disruption

London UK: The cost and disruption caused to the supply chain by protracted motorway closures after accidents could be “substantially reduced” if new recommendations are implement.

A government preliminary report estimates the annual cost of motorway closures in England at around £1bn. As well as funding laser scanning technology for police incident analysis, the report recommends more training, performance monitoring and the use of good practice models to expedite the reduction of congestion caused by motorway incidents.

“Government recognition of this problem through its preliminary report will be warmly welcomed by an industry where reducing transport cost is king,” says Malcolm Bingham, hjead of road network management policy at the Freight Transport Association.

The Freight Transport Association has lobbied the government, the Highways Agency and the police over the length of time taken to clear incidents on the strategic road network.

Bingham says: “The price paid by industry of the prolonged closure of major arterial roads is enormous and far-reaching. It costs around £50 for a heavy truck to sit in traffic for just one hour – then there are the unnecessary carbon emissions and severe disruption to the supply chain caused by congestion.

“Clearly, there is a need to properly investigate incidents – especially those causing death or serious injury – but this report highlights the variations in practices and response time that can occur across different regions of the country.

“In trying to better understand the clear regional variations between how motorway incidents are handled, the report will hopefully find some useful conclusions that will benefit road users across the whole road network,” he says.

The Review of Investigation and Closure Procedures for Motorway Incidents, published by the Department for Transport, 19 May 2011 was carried out jointly with the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers and the Highways Agency, to identify what can collectively be done to achieve the shortest timeline possible for managing motorway incident closures. Full report is available from the Department for Transport.