Reply from A14 Team
We are obviously aware of the issues at Swavesey as they have been experienced in other villages along the A14 during the scheme.
Last year we convened a meeting of local Cllrs to see what more if anything we can do in respect of this.
Firstly I need to make it clear that we never direct anyone via roads other than down the official diversion route. However we do understand that there have been many instances of drivers not following instructions.
So we looked at possible solutions in respect of this and I have summarised work we have undertaken.
Press / social media notifications used on A14
· Weekly media round-up issued to a wide range of regional media.
· Weekly & daily updates on A14 Facebook & Twitter channels
Initial Additional Steps Taken (2017/18)
· Up to 43 black and yellow “Road closed” advisory and diversion ahead signs used with various wording to alert drivers of the closure; including some “Turn off Sat Nav Follow Diversion” signs
with a cone and a flashing light on it to highlight the sign
· Up to 13 Mobile VMS signs in use, displaying messages such as Image
· When diversions are lengthy, rather than just expecting drivers to follow a strategic diversion symbol, some of the temporary diversion signs also include “A14 W”, “A14 E” etc. on them to confirm
to drivers they are on the correct route.
· We paid for Police crews to be in attendance at the closure point side roads to try to ensure vehicles did not divert onto local weight restricted roads. Due to this resulting in shift pattern problems
this may not always be possible in the future.
· Our traffic management crews have been stationed at the closure points to speak with confused drivers to encourage them to follow the signed diversions.
· Support from CCC with the use of their message boards to warn drivers of the closures.
· Weekly update of closures sent to Parish Councils / businesses / interested residents by email.
· The weekly information is shared with Road Haulage Association and Freight Transport Association for sharing with their membership.
Further steps taken during 2018
· Support from HE strategic signage team to use as many of the appropriate full network gantry signs to alert drivers of the closers; including some as afr afield as on the M25.
· Support from CCC to get the closures and diversions uploaded onto roadworks.org, a system which feeds into some satnav systems.
· Request to Road Haulage Association, Freight Traffic Association and Felixstowe port contacts to please remind members to follow the signed diversion.
· Agreement from RHA that they will use or weekly traffic closure information onto their new “Roadway” app that was launched in May.
· Agreement from RHA that they will share our traffic closure information with the International Roads Union (the European equivalent of RHA)
· Buckden / Ellington / Fenstanton / Fen Drayton / Swavesey area – we will where can identify them speak with companies who are repeat users of non-diversion route roads.
– This could lead to asking them to sign the County Council HGV covenant
· A14 IDT have taken video footage of the diversion routes and reviewed with people not familiar with the routes to check if they are clear.
· Police added a number of sensitive routes onto their night time tasking list, to request that if crews have any spare time that they driver these routes to check for any non-compliance of the speed
or weight restrictions.
· Whilst mid-week closures will be in place from 9pm on a Friday night closures will be delayed until 10pm to try to allow more traffic through the region before the road is closed.
· In the near future we will be able to use the support of the Highways England Traffic Officers when we close the roads, as more are in the process of being employed.
· Discussions with TomTom satellite navigation company to understand if anything can be done to assist. They advised that unless people have “Live traffic” satnav systems that have been updated
by the user to reflect current maps there is not.
· Further work with Highways England strategic signage teams to improve consistency of messaging when closures are in place; assuming no other strategic incident has to take priority.
· Two traffic counters and four speed signs have been purchased and locations for use will be agreed with Cambridgeshire County Council and will be rotated across the project. Data will be gathered to inform CCC decision on the need for a weight restriction or further TRO weight limit.
– Rotation Counter 1 (during and after night time works)
Huntingdon Road, Histon Road, Kings Hedges Road
– Rotations Counter 2
Grafham, Swavesey, Fen Drayton / Fenstanton
· Possible use of additional night time Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders being considered with CCC & Police. In addition to the cost to put in place these will take some time to progress and it.
· Additional “Unsuitable for HGV” signs to be used where applicable.
· New “Police speed check area” signs being purchased, with locations for use being agreed with the Police.
· Signs with “Turn off sat nav” on to be amended to a strike through satellite symbol, to try to emphasise the point to foreign drivers.
· If time permits the night time floating TM crew will drive the local routes to see if they can spot any non-compliance with the diversion.
· Use of HE Traffic Officer teams, when available, at key junctions to try to dissuade drivers from using village roads.
· All diversion signs which use the strategic symbols have been changed to A14 E or W and A1 N or S as applicable (August)
· Full review of locations of scheme mobile message boards to ensure they are being used to the best effect.
In addition since the recent concerns raised during closures between Swavesey and Bar Hill, a colleague at Highways England has asked for even more signs to be placed on the road into the village.
I must however point out that no traffic offences are being committed by vehicles travelling into the village and then along Ramper Road as there is no weight restriction in place. As such neither the Police or Highways staff can prevent these movements.
I hope all of the above assists and demonstrates the steps we have been taking.