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28th Oct, 2021

Emergency fuel bikers at M5 roadworks in bid to beat congestion

Ross Crawford 19th Sep, 2017 Updated: 19th Sep, 2017

RAPID assistance motorcycles carrying emergency fuel to combat breakdowns and ease congestion are being used on the M5 Oldbury scheme.

It is the first time fuel bikes have been used by Highways England while a major repair scheme is underway in England.

Since August 1 this year, there have already been 17 fuel related incidents recorded.

Highways England is working closely with Egertons Recovery to manage the service.

Highways England project manager, Alastair Warnes, said: “Since the contraflow came into effect, we’ve already seen a number of fuel-related breakdowns in the roadworks section. In fact, on the very first day of the contraflow coming into effect, the first breakdown was caused by someone that had run out of fuel.

“This type of situation can cause delays. We’re calling on motorists to do their bit and ensure they have plenty of fuel for the journey before setting off.

“Safety is our top imperative and we’re always there to help motorists who need it in an emergency. By offering this type of assistance we’re able to minimise disruption to others driving through the roadworks.”

The major repair scheme, valued at more than £100 million, includes concrete repairs and waterproofing on the ageing M5 Oldbury Viaduct in the West Midlands.

To keep the motorway open, a contraflow system is in place with traffic currently using the northbound carriageway and two lanes operating in each direction, along with a 30mph speed limit. This means that motorcycles can reach motorists quicker with fuel to reduce delays and traffic flowing.

The work continues until autumn 2018, with some minor work continuing into spring 2019.

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