IAM get to the root of motorway closures in 2014

Monday, May 11, 2015 - 10:40
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Almost half a million incidents took place last year

More than 40% of all motorway and major A road lane closures in England in 2014 were caused by vehicle breakdowns – and 122 unsupervised children caused them to be shut too… obviously not at the same time

In total there were 443,590 lane closures on motorways and primary A roads in England last year for 44 defined reasons by Highways England.

The information came from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the IAM, the biggest independent road safety charity in the UK, which asked for the number of incidences of lane closures on roads managed by Highways England’s in 2014.

Some of the major findings of the report were as follows:

  • 12,759 pedestrians walking on a motorway live lane or active A road caused lane closures (three per cent of all incidences) in addition to the 122 unsupervised children.
  • There were also 7,446 cases of a ‘non-legal’ use of the hard shoulder – some two per cent of recorded incidences.
  • Other causes listed were 3,990 animals loose on the network; 2,598 abandoned vehicles and 6,742 shed tyres
  • 6,288 injury collisions and 29,656 non-injury collisions also caused lane closures
  • 856 suicides or attempted suicides caused roads to be shut on England’s main routes.
  • There were also 152 cases of objects being thrown onto the roads, and 567 cases of a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road causing roads to be closed.

Of the 185,457 breakdowns, 40,192 were in a ‘live lane’ i.e. a lane with other moving traffic around it.

Almost half a million incidents took place in 2014 that led to a lane closure costing the economy an estimated £1 billion a year in terms of lost man hours on motorways alone.

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