Delivering a better service – have your say

Highways England manages the 4,300 miles of motorways and strategic trunk roads in England, known as the Strategic Road Network (SRN), and is looking for your views on what it is doing well, what it could do better and initiatives that you feel would improve the service.

Highways England has recently commenced a project aimed at improving the service it provides to the freight and road haulage sector. The three-year initiative incorporates a wide-ranging external engagement exercise which will help Highways England to understand the needs of the transport sector, while influencing future planning and operational decisions.

Highways England would like to get your views on areas such as:

  • How your organisation interacts with Highways England and the SRN
  • How the operation of the SRN affects your organisation
  • How you think Highways England is performing with respect to the service it provides to customers and in particular road freight

Highways England has produced a survey and would be very grateful for your views. The survey, which closes on 30 November, can be accessed here. Completing the survey should take no more than 10 – 15 minutes of your time.

If you have any queries, contact freight@highwaysengland.co.uk

‘Vehicle 2 Grid’ technology – theory into reality

E-Flex, a demonstration project, is on a mission to move vehicle to grid – ‘V2G’ – from theory to commercial reality, and they’re looking for fleets based in London to join them. V2G lets you export stored energy from your electric vehicle back to the electricity network, opening up a range of energy-saving opportunities, including dramatically reducing the costs of your operation.

A first-of-its-kind, E-Flex will use a real-world testing environment to demonstrate the potential value of V2G for fleet managers such as reducing the cost of driving and charging electric vehicles, with an end-goal of delivering cost-neutral operations.

If you operate a fleet in the London or Greater London area and would like to find out more, or even become one of E-flex’s first trial sites for V2G, visit the E-Flex website.

Credit:Jonson_84/iStock

£930m worth of truck road improvements coming in 2020

The trunk road network in the south of Scotland is set to benefit from over £930 million worth of improvements after two new road maintenance contracts were agreed.

More than 2,000 miles of trunk road will be improved as a result of the work, which is expected to last for at least eight years.

The value of the contract could rise to as much as £1.4 billion if Transport Scotland exercises its option to extend the work to 12 years.

Work isn’t expected to begin until 2020, but Transport Scotland has warned Scottish motorists that when it does commence, they can expect a range of measures aimed at minimising disruption and ensuring consistent, predictable and reliable journeys.

The authority added that the new contracts also include a renewed focus on achievement of climate change and sustainability targets.

Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, commented: “This latest generation of our operating company contracts will bring an improved level of service across 3,500km (2,174 miles) of trunk road.

“The two contracts will directly support around 650 operational and professional jobs in Scotland. They will also contribute significantly to the economy through the wider supply chain, with local firms benefiting on a regular basis.

“I am confident these contracts will continue to deliver both a high quality and value for money trunk road maintenance service.”

Transport Scotland is expected to put out the contracts for tender soon, with winning bidders set to be announced in early 2020.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Dieselink, commented: “This work is a long way off but it will greatly benefit motorists in Scotland once it is complete.”

Photo:Jonson_84/iStock

Over 20 speeding drivers stopped outside an Inverness school in one hour

Over 20 speeding drivers stopped outside an Inverness school in one hour

Concerns over speeding near schools have been raised yet again after police stopped more than 20 drivers outside an Inverness school during its pupils’ lunch break.

According to the BBC, officers pulled over 24 motorists near Hilton Primary on Thursday [23rd August].

Certain instances of speeding were so extreme that they warranted one of the drivers to be reported to the procurator fiscal, while two have received a conditional offer of a fixed penalty notice. The rest were given warnings.

Police have been carrying out speed checks outside schools across Inverness all week since pupils returned from their summer break.

Speaking to the BBC, road policing sergeant Gus Murray said it was “incredibly disappointing” to have had to stop so many motorists for irresponsible driving near a primary school in such a short space of time.

He commented: “All motorists need to be persuaded that driving at inappropriate speeds is not a minor, technical offence that everyone commits. It is a serious, dangerous and antisocial activity.

“We will continue to carry out enforcement activity near schools to stop those who continue to ignore the dangers.”

Despite the concerns, road safety in Scotland seems to be heading in the right direction overall, with road deaths hitting a record low in 2017.

Transport Scotland reports that 146 people died as a result of road accidents in the country last year; 45 fewer than in 2016, marking a decrease of 24 per cent.

On a similar note, casualties dropped by 14 per cent too, from 10,905 in 2016 to 9,391 in 2017 – 899 of which were children – while the number of people seriously injured fell by seven per cent to 1,580.

Ben Robb, brand manager at Dieselink, commented: “It’s disappointing that some drivers think that speeding outside schools – during lunch break, no less – is acceptable.”

Photo: ilbusca/iStock

Scotland features heavily in UK’s most dangerous roads list

Scotland features heavily in UK’s most dangerous roads list

Scotland is home to 11 of the 25 most dangerous roads in the UK, according to a new report.

Using fatality figures gathered by the UK Department for Transport between 2012 and 2016, the report from Teletrac Navman claimed that the Orkney Islands is the deadliest county in Scotland, with 4,110 fatal traffic accidents per 10,000 residents.

This ranked it fourth for the whole of the UK behind Rutland, Powys and Fermanagh & Omagh.

Other Scottish counties in the 25 most dangerous list were Argyll & Bute (5th), Perth and Kinross (7), Dumfries and Galloway (9), Scottish Borders (10), Stirling (12), Na h-Eileanan an Iar (15), Angus (17) and the Shetland Islands (24).

In contrast to Scotland’s numerous appearances on the list, Clackmannanshire – Scotland’s smallest county – was named the safest area in the UK, with no fatalities over the same four-year period.

Shocking or flawed?

Marjorie McCreadie, secretary from the A7 Action Group – which has been working to make the A7 in the Scottish Borders a safer driving route, said she was shocked by the study.

“This shocking statistic will now give the A7 Action Group more ammunition and allow us to apply more pressure on the Scottish Government to upgrade the road to a much safer standard,” she told BorderTelegraph.com.

The Scottish Borders Council criticised the study’s methodology as “fundamentally flawed”.

A spokesperson said: “It uses fatality rate per population as the measure so it is no surprise that many areas with large road networks, particularly those with a large rural network, and low populations are listed as the ‘deadliest’.

“Proper analysis, using annual average daily traffic flow, identifies that the A7, through the Scottish Borders, is no more dangerous than other major routes in the area.”

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Dieselink, added: “The number of deaths and casualties on Scotland’s roads hit a record low last year, so we’re clearly heading in the right direction.”