The Times (“Traffic jam cost rises to £9bn a year” 18/10/17), highlighted that the Government is demanding congestion be addressed and reduced due to its massive cost to the economy, estimated to be £9 billion a year. New research published by the traffic data company, Inrix, shows shockingly high statistics for Britain’s motorways and A-roads with more than 1.35 million jams in the past 12 months. The single worst accident cost £2.4 million alone, with a 36 mile jam and 15 hours of repair work.
During the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Greener Journey’s Chief Executive, Claire Haigh, declared that cutting congestion on Britain’s roads will make a dramatic impact in tackling the country’s air quality crisis. She stated “Traffic congestion is 14% worse than it was five years ago in the UK’s largest cities and congestion itself greatly exacerbates harmful NOx emissions. In nose to tail traffic, NOx emissions are four times greater than they are in free flow traffic.”
When looking at the contributing factors to congestion, accidents involving steel barriers are daily events. In a recent A1M incident at Peterborough on 23rd October, a lorry overturned and caused significant damage to the central barrier. This resulted in both sides of the carriageway being restricted and closed whilst recovery and repair work took place, gridlocking the surrounding area.
With pressure mounting to improve air pollution by keeping traffic moving, it is recognised that congestion has a real negative cost to the economy. BBS Concrete Barriers have proven to be virtually maintenance-free but currently only 13% of the English motorway network is protected with these barriers.
BBS believe a barrier replacement programme, replacing life expired steel barrier with concrete, would make a tangible improvement to both reducing congestion and improving air quality.