A new incident response vehicle aimed at “dramatically reducing delays for drivers” is being trialled on UK roads for the first time.
The Enhanced Customer Response Unit (ECRU), combines the expertise, knowledge and equipment of both a traffic officer and incident support staff who deal with clean-ups and road repairs. It can stop and direct motorway traffic after incidents – then clean up spillages and repair the road afterwards.
“Highways England continually strives to develop new ways and innovations that will help keep our road network clear and traffic moving,” said Highways England Corporate Group Leader Martin Bolt. “By combining services in one vehicle we can deal with incidents and issues more quickly.”
The vehicle began operations on July 1 in the West Midlands and is the first of five due to take part in the trial. It will be manned by Highways England traffic officers and incident support staff from contractor Kier.
- is highly visible with warning beacons and electronic message signs
- can carry more emergency traffic management than the regular vehicles including bigger signs and more cones; this helps provide safer conditions for those working at incident scenes it
- has a crash cushion on the back to absorb the impact from moving vehicles if struck, providing added protection to road workers and road users
- has a pressure washer that can distribute water and clean up oil and fuel spillages
It is the first of its kind to be launched in the UK and was inspired by similar technologies used in Australia.