Major incidents:
A controlled incident

Excavations can be done with a Lane 1 closure, so if the vehicle has been recovered, if the remaining lanes can be reopened and the necessary signage is in place, and following discussions with the Police, it's possible to reopen the point of closure and open lanes 3 and 2 past the scene to give some temporary respite to the motorist. Before doing this, ensure everybody on site is aware it is going to happen, because you don't want somebody wandering into a live lane.

The carriageway needs to be checked between the point of closure and the next junction for any stray vehicles, debris, or children playing on the motorway that may be remote from the actual scene. Traffic is then brought past the site at a controlled speed by the Police.

A closed motorway awaiting re-opening. Click to enlarge
A closed motorway awaiting re-opening. Click to enlarge

The Supervisor will also arrange with the surfacing Supervisor that they resurface lanes 2 and 3 tonight so that motorists have two running lanes "clean", rather than lane 1 with a nice clean hard shoulder that isn't being used. Also, as you are keeping the road closed overnight, it means that the French drain works can continue at the same time. As things progress, less staff are required at the scene so they can log off and resume duties, or more than likely make their way home, as they will have been working far beyond their normal hours. Few people realise just how much staff put themselves out at incidents like this, but I have never yet come across anybody that has said, "sorry, my shift's just finishing". It's all hands to the pump.

The media by now are onto this and are arriving either on site, by nearby overbridges or by coming across fields. They are all directed to the Police. Despite being told on many occasions that we don't speak to the press (we have a Communications Team for that, and so do the HA), they still ask for a report or interview.

We now have a controlled incident, and with nothing else of note for the Supervisor to do he can log off, give a final update to the office, and leave site. He can then start doing his report, download photos and e-mail all concerned by 8.30am the following day so that it can be forwarded to the HA. He then looks forward to the next one in a few days time; it could even be the same day. No rest for the wicked. And in the meantime, a thousand and one other things to do...

Page 7 of 7

In this section

What's new

Go west! New Ringways pages are here

A new set of Ringways pages are now online, looking at unbuilt motorways and road projects west of London.

No smoke without ire

London's Ultra Low Emission Zone has just expanded to cover the whole inner city, and across the UK, other cities are implementing their own Clean Air Zones. Is this the future?

Devon help us

Road signs are colour coded for different types of road, but in Devon there are more colours than anywhere else. What do Devon's colourful signs mean?

Have you seen...

Emergency Diversion Routes

Those funny black and yellow symbols are everywhere - and they might just get you back on track one day.