Highways England deploys fuel bikes on M5 to ease congestion through roadworks

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Running out of fuel on the motorway is bad enough, but when it happens in the middle of roadworks it can cause significant delays.

One solution is motorcycle response vehicles carrying emergency fuel.

Highways England said last week that it is using rapid assistance motorcycles on the M5 Oldbury scheme in the West Midlands to combat breakdowns and ease congestion.

The repair works, costing more than £100m, include concrete repairs and waterproofing on the ageing M5 Oldbury Viaduct.

To keep the motorway open, a contraflow system is in place with traffic currently using the northbound carriageway and two lanes operating in each direction, with a 30mph speed limit.

Since 1 August this year, there have already been 17 fuel-related incidents.

Fuel bikes can reach breakdowns quickly, to reduce delays and keep the traffic flowing.

Highways England project manager, Alastair Warnes, said: "Since the contraflow came into effect, we've already seen a number of fuel-related breakdowns in the roadworks section. In fact, on the very first day of the contraflow coming into effect, the first breakdown was caused by someone that had run out of fuel.

"This type of situation can cause delays for fellow motorists. Safety is our top imperative and we're calling on motorists to do their bit and ensure they have plenty of fuel for the journey before setting off.

"We're always there to help motorists who need it in an emergency and by offering this type of assistance we're able to minimise disruption to others driving through the roadworks."

What do you think about this idea? Should it be extended to other roadworks?

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