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Highways England: Ensuring less congested, safer roads - a world first in traffic management

By 2003, congestion had become a serious problem for Highways England (HE). Demand for road space was rising, incidents were occurring more frequently and police resource was being moved away from roads to fighting crime. We helped the HE take more responsibility for dealing with accidents, breakdowns and other incidents. It has helped build a new partnership with the police to reduce road congestion and improve road safety.

PA Consulting Group was asked to review the respective roles and responsibilities of the HE and the police in supporting the road network. We helped broker a deal that the HE would assume more of a role in traffic management and the police would work with them as partners to reduce crime and improve road safety. PA supported the programme from concept through to delivery.

In under three years, the HE made profound changes. It built seven regional control centres and recruited and trained around 1,200 traffic officers and 300 control room staff. Traffic officers are now generally the first people on the scene of a breakdown or accident. On a number of occasions they have intervened to save more lives.

"It has been a tremendous experience and pleasure working with PA."

Janet Butler, traffic operations, Highways England

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