Tougher roadwork rules for contractors a good thing for movement of goods, says FTA

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the government’s plan for stronger regulations to prevent long stretches of roadworks on motorways could cut delays and reduce costs for HGV operators.

According to the FTA, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has told Highways England to introduce tough new rules for contractors to prevent motorists getting stuck in lengthy queues. He also wants better communication with road users so they understand the reason for works and can plan alternative routes.

Malcolm Bingham, FTA head of road network management policy, said: “Long stretches of roadworks create a series of problems for our members – it’s an issue that they constantly complain about.

“We know that for the largest vehicles it costs £1 for every minute they’re stuck in traffic. Limiting roadworks to two-mile stretches could considerably reduce the time they’re delayed.  Nose-to-tail shunts are more prevalent in queues of slow moving traffic too, so hopefully this will also cut the number of accidents in roadworks.”

The FTA said that disruption on England’s motorways is expected to increase as the government’s £15.2bn plan to improve the strategic road network gets underway. More than three-quarters of England’s motorways and major A-roads will be resurfaced and more than 1,300 miles of road will be built by 2020.

Currently the longest stretch of motorway roadworks runs for more than 18 miles between junctions 28 and 31 of the M1 near Chesterfield.

Bingham added: “Anything that keeps traffic flowing and reduces delays is welcome – time is money for all transport operators.”