Inflatable solution to road safety to be trialled in West Midlands - The Solihull Observer

Inflatable solution to road safety to be trialled in West Midlands

Solihull Editorial 2nd Oct, 2020   0

AN inflatable safety barrier that can be put up in a matter of minutes is to help protect road workers on Highways England’s road network.

The new airbag is being trialled in the Midlands in a bid to reduce the number of motorists that mistakenly drive into work areas putting the drivers and road workers at risk.

Large, bright and very visible, the airbag sends a clear message to drivers but can also be put in place very quickly – it is inflated in under 10 minutes.

Highways England’s Midlands innovation manager, Lisa Maric, said: “On average, our road workers report nearly 300 incidents of vehicle incursions and abuse every week.

“It is a far too frequent hazard for our workforce going about their daily job – and the consequences could be fatal.

We hope these airbags will go some way to protecting our workers but also help change drivers’ behaviours. We ask drivers to respect our road workers, to slow down near works and obey speed limits and signs.”

The trial, being carried out with partners Kier, will initially use the barrier on a slip road at the A45/A46 Stivichall interchange in Coventry during roadworks later this month.

Vehicles are often driven into work sites on slip roads as drivers try to exit the motorway or A road but the inflatable barrier should act a deterrent.

The £95,700 cost of the airbags trial has been met through the Designated Funds programme. Highways England had a £150million ring-fenced fund allocated to support innovation as support of the Road Investment Strategy for 2015-2020.

Article courtesy of the Press Association.


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