When the rubber hits the…rubber: Highways England is trialling a new road surface using recycled tyres. The rubber-asphalt mix has been laid on a section of the M1 near Leicester and is now being evaluated for durability.
Campaigners from the roadside recovery industry have highlighted how new government figures on motorway breakdowns bolster the case for increased protections for roadside rescue and recovery operators – including the right to use red warning beacons.
Highways England and Blackwell, the earthworks contractor, have completed work on a short trial involving an autonomous dump truck (ADT) on the A14. The month-long project, which ended on May 1, was paid for with £150,000 from the Government’s Road Investment Strategy (RIS) innovation designation fund and took place on a section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.
As fans cheer on the England squad’s bid for World Cup semi-final glory this evening, the country’s busiest roads will be much quieter than the normally would be midweek at 7pm. Highways England says a brief analysis of traffic on each of the England match days to date, comparing an hour before kick-off to two hours after, shows that during the games demand reduced by up to 33 per cent.
Simple checks could prevent almost three-quarters of motorway incidents related to tyre failure. This is one of the conclusions of an 18-month study conducted by Bridgestone and Highways England. More than 30 people were killed or seriously injured in motorway accidents in 2016 due to illegal or faulty tyres.
The latest figures from the Department for Transport in its annual Reported Road Casualties Great Britain report show the number of people killed or seriously injured in tyre-related incidents fell to 158 from 162. Slight injuries were also down meaning the total number of casualties was 876, its lowest level recorded. Following the welcome but slight decrease in casualties caused by tyre-related incidents in 2016, TyreSafe is urging drivers and stakeholders to continue their efforts, not become complacent. Indeed, Scottish figures were significantly worse than 12 months ago.
Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) has called on Highways England to urgently review the arrangements for clearing debris from UK motorways following a worrying rise in “swerve to avoid” and “tyre blowout” related claims.
This year has seen Highways England roll out smart motorways as a part of its ambition to reduce congestion and improve journey times in the UK. But, with that, Transport Minister Chris Grayling gave the go-ahead to remove 32 miles of hard shoulder on the M4, with 30 schemes proposed to permanently convert the hard shoulder into a traffic lane on around 300 miles of motorway.
TyreSafe supporters, Micheldever/Protyre, GITI Tire UK, Westgate Tyres and Chris Hardy Tyres are each providing expert tyre advice to motorists participating in Highways England’s Stop4T activities. With their help, TyreSafe is joining the emergency service and Highways England officers at 19 service stations along the M6 corridor to provide potentially life-saving road safety advice, Stop4T as part of its on-going campaign to reduce the number of casualties on Britain’s roads.
More than a third (37.2%) of drivers who called out the AA to fit new tyres were either driving with tread depths below the 1.6mm legal minimum (9.6%) – or were on the limit (27.6%), according to the latest data from the AA. The AA analysed thousands of call outs in 2016 to its team of specialist tyre fitters – providing a snapshot of the state of tyres on Britain’s roads.
TyreSafe shared the results of its latest national tyre survey on 14 July, with the shocking headline figure suggesting that “over 10 million UK motorists could drive a vehicle with an illegal and dangerous tyre during 2016”. Speaking during the Tyre Safety Month Briefing, TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson shared how the survey, conducted by TyreSafe in partnership with Highways England, reveals that more than 27 per cent of tyres were already illegal when they were replaced. That equates to more than one-in-four of the 37 million cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) on the UK’s roads.
Every working speed camera on the strategic road network will be yellow within a year, the Government has announced. Ministers ordered a review of speed camera policy on motorways earlier this year and Highways England has today confirmed their plan to increase the visibility of all speed cameras on the network.
A safer roads service that allows car, van and lorry drivers to quickly check their vehicle’s tyre pressures before resuming motorway journeys has been extended until the end of the year. The project was launched in April 2015 for an initial three month trial period, but was so successful – with more than 1,000 vehicles being tested a week – that the decision was taken to continue the scheme through to Thursday 31 December.