Highways Agency reminds drivers on the M11 to 'Respect our road workers'

THE Highways Agency is reminding drivers to take extra care when driving through roadworks on the M11 in Essex, both for their own safety and that of thousands of roadworkers who keep our roads safe and well maintained. Each day, more than 4000 road worke

THE Highways Agency is reminding drivers to take extra care when driving through roadworks on the M11 in Essex, both for their own safety and that of thousands of roadworkers who keep our roads safe and well maintained.

Each day, more than 4000 road workers - approximately one for every mile of the Highways Agency's network - put their trust in the hands of around 18 million other road users.

Between 2003 and 2008, 11 roadworkers were killed and 104 were seriously injured while working on motorways and major A roads in England.

Highways Agency staff, along with representatives of Essex Police, Essex County Council Road Safety Team and the agency's contractors Atkins and Interserve, were in Essex this week, talking to members of the public on Monday at the Birchanger services at Junction 8 of the M11.


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They also visited Colchester town centre on Thursday, outside the Town Hall, and will be in Chelmsford High Street today (Friday).

At Birchanger, drivers also had the chance to see traffic management vehicles up close, such as a Crash Cushion, which is placed at the start of a lane closure to protect workers from fast-moving oncoming traffic, and an Incident Support Unit vehicle, which are used to clear the carriageway following an accident.

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The agency is currently carrying out a �10m major maintenance scheme on the M11 between junctions 8 and 9, replacing concrete carriageway with a smoother low-noise surface that also reduces surface water spray.

The Highways Agency's area performance manager with responsibility for Essex Peter Smith, said: "Roadworkers work in a dangerous environment and deserve respect and consideration from drivers.

"Driving through half a mile of roadworks at 70mph takes just ten seconds less than at 50mph - a 10-second saving which can put lives at risk. Speed restrictions, cones, barriers, signs are there for a reason - to protect our workers from danger and to keep road users safe. I urge all drivers to obey speed restrictions and pay close attention to safety when driving through roadworks."

The campaign is supported by Essex Casualty Reduction Board and contractors Atkins and Interserve, whose staff carry out the roadworks on behalf of the Highways Agency.

In autumn 2008, the Highways Agency launched a DVD called 'Respect', highlighting why drivers need to have respect for road workers and a greater appreciation of the consequences their actions could have.

The industry - including the Highways Agency - also has a major part to play, and the Agency has provided two �80,000 hi-tech mobile training vehicles, for other employers to keep their staff up to date with the latest health & safety and working practices. For more information about the 'Respect our Road Workers' campaign, visit http://www.highways.gov.uk/roadworker

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