Highways England Makes Use of ‘Fuel Motorbikes’ to Handle Breakdowns along M5 Project

For the very first time, Highways England has begun making use of motorbikes which carry fuel to assist motorists and deal with breakdowns on an important road project along the M5’s Oldbury section.  These motorbikes, aptly dubbed ‘rapid assistance motorbikes’, are designed to carry fuel – and they are then deployed to motorists in order to ease traffic and congestion along the road project on the M5, also called the Oldbury project. Perhaps the reason for the deployment of these motorbikes is the fact that in August, about 17 incidents involving lack of fuel were reported in the area. 

Using motorbikes to reach stranded motorists on the M5

Using motorbikes to reach stranded motorists on the M5

The largest concrete repair scheme so far 

The road scheme or project has a total budget of £100 million, and the scheme involves repairs to concrete as well as waterproofing for the old Oldbury Viaduct on the M5, located in the West Midlands. The scheme is actually the biggest repair scheme, by value, involving the repair of concrete performed in Britain. 

In order to keep the motorway passable and open to motorists, a system of contraflow has been put in place, with road users currently making use of the carriageways going north, and two motorway lanes which can now operate in each direction (there is also a 30 mile-per-hour speed limit in place). 

A faster solution to fuel-related issues 

With the use of the rapid assistance motorbikes, Highways England confirms that motorists who have no more fuel can be assisted in a faster manner. According to Highways England, this is the first time it has made use of ‘fuel motorbikes’ whilst an important repair project is ongoing.

Alastair Warnes, the project manager, says that since there has been a contraflow, they have seen some breakdowns related to fuel in the section of roadworks. As a matter of fact, Mr. Warnes adds, on the first day of the scheme involving the contraflow, the very first road breakdown was due to a motorist running out of fuel.  

Mr. Warnes continues to say that this kind of issue or situation can be the cause of delays for other motorists using the road, and safety is their main priority. So, they are asking motorists to do their own bit and make sure their vehicles have ample fuel before they set off on their journey. Mr. Warnes adds, however, that Highways England is there to assist in this type of emergency, and through their being able to offer such assistance, they are now able to minimise the disruption caused to other motorists on the road project. Highways England is collaborating with Egertons Recovery in order to sufficiently manage the fuel emergency service. 

Posted on 09 Oct 2017 in News

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