We recognise that the work we do has an impact on those living around the project and those travelling on the road. Before starting work, we made a commitment to minimise our impact on local roads and communities as much as possible. To keep traffic moving we’ve maintained the number of traffic lanes during the day, by installing narrow lanes.
When lane and carriageway closures are needed to keep our workers and road users safe, we’ve ensured that these take place at night only, when traffic levels are lower.
Before starting any work on the strategic road network (motorways and major trunk roads), Highways England agrees diversion routes with the local highway authority (in this case Cambridgeshire County Council), to ensure that appropriate roads are used. This is because roads used for diversions need to be suitable for all the traffic that uses these roads, including HGVs.
We are aware that not all vehicles are following diversion routes and that this is having an impact on local communities. While it is difficult to completely stop this, we are working hard to ensure that drivers use the correct routes.
We have also considered, but discounted several other options which were not practical. These included:
- Using ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras. However, these collect registration numbers rather than information about the weight or use of the vehicle.
- Additional temporary traffic orders to restrict the weight of vehicles using local roads. This may be done in exceptional circumstances, but requires police resource and enforcement.
- Lorry-watch schemes to ensure that only permitted vehicles (below the allowed weight) use local roads. It is difficult to expect local community members to easily identify the weight of vehicles and would require police resource to follow up.
You can see just some of the steps we’re taking in our infographic above.