VIRTUS PLEASED TO BE INVOLVED WITH NEW M60 ROAD WORKER SAFETY CAMPAIGN
17 August 2015 - Press release from Highways England
M60 safety campaign warns ‘My daddy works here’
A new safety campaign is being launched along the Smart Motorway route in Greater Manchester with the warning ‘My daddy works here’.
Nearly 300 people are currently working on a 17-mile stretch of motorway between Junction 8 of the M60 near Sale and Junction 20 of the M62 near Rochdale, as part of a Highways England scheme to tackle congestion and improve journey times.
New technology is being installed to monitor traffic levels and variable speed limits will be used to improve the flow of vehicles when the project is finished. The hard shoulder is also being permanently converted into an extra lane between Junctions 18 and 20 of the M62, increasing capacity between the North West and Yorkshire.
Photos of children whose mums and dads are working on the motorway are being used on signs, designed and produced by Traffic Management Consultants Virtus, behind the safety barriers to remind workers of the importance of safety, and motorists are also being urged to think about the people behind the cones when they drive through the roadworks.
Narrow lanes and a temporary 50mph speed limit are currently in place along the route for the safety of workers and drivers, and so far over half a million hours of work have been carried out without any injuries.
The new signs feature three children whose parents work on the motorway, warning ‘My mummy works here’ or ‘My daddy works here’ alongside the message ‘Take care within the roadworks’.
Paul Hancock’s five-year-old son, Joseph, is one of the children featured on the signs. Paul, who lives in Wilmslow and is a team leader on the Smart Motorway project, said:
“Joseph describes my job as building a motorway so he was really excited to have his photo taken for the safety campaign. We’ll have to see what he makes of it when he sees his face on a sign at the side of the road.
“I hope the campaign will encourage people to think more about the workers behind the barriers, as well as reminding us to remain focused on safety while we’re on the motorway.
“Even with the reduced speed limit, it still feels fast when you’ve got thousands of vehicles zooming past you so I’d definitely urge people to stick to the temporary limit when they’re travelling through the roadworks.”
Paul Hampson, Project Manager at Highways England, added:
“This is one of the biggest construction projects currently taking place in the region so it’s vital we do all we can to make sure both workers and drivers stay safe. Paul is one of the hundreds of workers involved in the scheme whose friends and family want to see them come home safely every day.
“I hope the new campaign will encourage people to think more about the workers behind the barriers who are carrying out the work on the Smart Motorway Scheme, so we can reach the end of the project without anyone being injured.”
When the Smart Motorway Scheme is completed in autumn 2017, around 200 new electronic message signs on overhead gantries will warn drivers of changes in the mandatory speed limit, lane closures and incidents ahead.
More details on the scheme are available at www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/m60-junction-8-to-m62-junction-20.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Highways England is the wholly government-owned company responsible for modernising, maintaining and operating England’s motorways and major A roads.
2. Smart Motorways: We are making smarter use of our Motorway Network, and Smart Motorways encompasses all sections of our network that incorporate technology to manage congestion and improve journey time reliability. This includes controlling speeds to improve traffic flow through the use of variable mandatory speeds and providing driver information on overhead signs. Most recognisably Smart Motorways can use technology to open the hard shoulder at times of peak demand or the hard shoulder is permanently converted to a traffic lane. Emergency refuge areas are provided. These improvements add extra capacity on some of the busiest sections of our motorway network, helping to tackle congestion and make journey times more reliable.
3. Maintenance and improvement projects: We plan maintenance and improvement projects carefully to allow road works to be completed safely, in a cost effective way while keeping disruption to road users to a minimum. We do as much work as possible overnight and when roads are less busy in order to keep more lanes open for road users at peak travel times. Drivers are advised to check their route for road works and allow extra time for their journeys where needed. We have a variety of journey planning tools that road users can use to check travel conditions on the roads we manage, and we will do all we can to keep road users informed.
4. Safety at roadworks: Highways England is working with the industry and road users to reduce the risks of working on the roads. For the safety of road workers and all road users, when you are approaching roadworks:
Keep within the speed limit – it is there for your safety.
Get into the correct lane in good time – don’t keep switching.
Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
Be alert for works’ traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
Observe all signs – they are there to help you.
And be alert for road workers, the roads are their workplace.
5. Real-time traffic information for England’s Motorways and major 'A' roads is available:
By phone from the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 at any time. (Calls to 03 numbers are charged at no more than a national call to an 01 or 02 number and are included in all discount schemes and call allowances. This applies to all landlines, mobiles and payphones. Call costs will vary depending on your landline or mobile supplier.) Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call. Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency.
From Twitter – there are eight feeds with live traffic information provided by region. For information on roads in the North West follow us at @HighwaysNWEST or for the full index visit www.highways.gov.uk/twitter.
For further information please contact David Harris on 0161 930 4485. Media enquiries out of hours should be made to Highways England’s National Press Office (24hrs) on 0844 693 1448.
Virtus involvement in new M60 road worker safety campaign