Speaking at the Highways Term Maintenance Association conference, Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman said tackling road congestion and improving journey reliability were top priorities. According to the Transport Research Laboratory, roadworks cause between 10% and 15% of congestion.
He said: ‘This means not only targeting roads where most congestion occurs but, crucially, making better use of the existing road network. So we need to explore if there are ways in which the need for maintenance can be reduced.
‘We need to see if a better balance can be struck between the need for regular maintenance and the smooth flow of traffic. We need to look at the co-ordination of different works and we need to see how new techniques or innovations could be developed to cut the length of maintenance work.’
This month sees the launch of chapter eight of the Traffic Signs Manual, which gives guidance on best practice for the temporary signing and management of traffic on the highway during construction, maintenance or utility work.
Ladyman is also encouraging more effective use of speed limits at road works, claiming drivers should expect consistent limits to be set, depending on the work being carried out. He added that this should be combined with speed cameras.