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Roadworks Not To Blame For Traffic Congestion In UK

By raccars Published

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Britain's roadworks are a well known cause of misery among frustrated commuters, but a new report suggests that they may not be the root cause of the majority of journey delays. Recent research, has discovered that only one in seven lane closures is caused by roadworks, while vehicle breakdowns account for over 40% of motorway and major road lane closures. Road safety organisations claim that most vehicle breakdowns are avoidable and are the result of a lack of car maintenance.

A Freedom of Information request to the Highways Agency, found that in 2014 there were 443,590 lane closures on England's major A roads and motorways, categorised into 44 separately defined reasons, with an estimated cost to the economy of around £1 billion in wasted man hours. Of those, 185,457 were the result of obstruction by broken down vehicles. Only 61,587 or about 14% were caused by planned roadworks. Other obstructions accounted for a further 36,042 lane closures. 29,656 lane closures were caused by accidents in which no-on was injured and another 6,288 by accidents, where injuries were sustained. Police checks and other VOSA administrative work were the source of 23,705 or 5% of last year's lane closures.

Unexpected disruptions which have accounted for lane closures included wandering pedestrians and unsupervised children, named in 12,881 incidents, and yobs throwing objects onto roads, cited in 152 cases. Motorists driving on the wrong side of the road have also caused 567 lane closures and illegal use of the hard shoulder was recorded in 7,446 lane closure incidents. 2,598 abandoned vehicles also caused lanes to be closed on major roads.

3,990 incidents of animals wandering on the roads were recorded as causing lane closures last year, and 6,742 cases of shed or burst tyres and 856 suicide attempts were also reported.

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