Highways Agency

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by davidjpowell, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Where do they get the staff? Coming down the A1 today towards the M1 there were multiple warning signs sayig M1 closed J30 to J29. The signs then suggested an alternative diversion of A1 and M62, which would divert them back to the M1, but still way before the actual closure.

    The amount of money spent on these signs must be proportionate to the amount of rubbish displayed!

    David
     
  2. kusanku

    kusanku Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What exactly is their remit, other than putting up signs? I notice that a lot of drivers slow down when they see a Highways Agency vehicle on the motorway, but they don't have any powers to pull people over do they?
     
  3. robert.saunders

    robert.saunders Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Q) What are the roles and responsibilities of Highways Agency Traffic Officers?
    A total of 25 per cent of all congestion is caused by incidents. This is what the Traffic officer Service is tackling. Traffic Officers have taken over 76 per cent of all police motorway duties and are responsible for:
    • managing incidents, except where there is a loss of life, injury or potential criminal activity
    • setting signs and signals and answering emergency roadside telephones
    • arranging the removal of damaged or broken down/abandoned vehicles in partnership with the police
    • removing debris and other obstructions from the carriageway
    The role of a Traffic Officer involves:
    • managing incidents that do not involve loss of life, injury or potential criminal activity
    • supporting the police when they are managing incidents, particularly in managing traffic
    • high visibility patrols to reassure the public
    • dealing with accident damaged, broken down and abandoned vehicles
    • providing rolling road closures to hold traffic back to allow removal of debris, installation of temporary traffic management and other purposes
    • providing temporary road closures
    • clearing debris, animals and found property from the network
    • indentification of defects and potential improvements to the network
    • monitoring roadworks
    • planning arrangements for forthcoming special events
    • educating road users
    Q) What powers under the Traffic Management Act 2004 do Traffic Officers have?
    The Highways Agency Traffic Officers have powers to:
    • Stop traffic and close roads, lanes and carriageways;
    • Direct and divert traffic;
    • Place and operate traffic signs;
    • Manage traffic and traffic surveys.
    Failure to comply with a Highways Agency Traffic Officer’s directions or sign is an offence and could lead to:
    • A fine of up to £1,000
    • Driving Licence endorsement; or
    • Disqualification.
    Assaulting, willfully obstructing or impersonating a Traffic Officer is an offence and could lead to a fine of up to £5,000 or Imprisonment

    http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/11235.aspx
     
  4. stevesey

    stevesey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Correct HATOs don't have any powers as far road traffic offences go. If traffic allows I never slow down for them (although who knows who they could be on the radio to).

    More interestingly I assume if one tried to pull you over, or stop the traffic could you be done later for failing to stop - slightly theorectical question as it would obviously be silly to ignore one trying to stop the traffic as there should be a (sensible) reason for this.

    Edit: Qudos to Robert for answering the question before I asked? Extra points if you can anser my next question Robert.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  5. UnMarked

    UnMarked Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I work with HATO's regularly when covering the motorway. I've generally found them enthusiastic, hard-working and a real asset - particularly when dealing with pile-ups. However, and on a personal level, I do have genuine mixed feelings about their role (as i do with PCSO/CSO's rather than beat officers) as I believe there should be more police rather than the high-visibility and dare I say cheaper options :devil: . Nonetheless, they're here to stay and most motorists who come into contact with them face-to-face and in need of their assistance will I feel be pleasantly surprised with their professionalism.

    I can't comment on their navigational skills in the original post though :D
     
  6. recycled

    recycled Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Errmm. you forgot, rounding up blonde swedish twins. and keeping 4x4 sales up.


    Sorry couldn't resist
     
  7. fyonn

    fyonn Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    they don't. most people who slow down for a HA vehicle on the motorway slow down because they think it's a police car :)

    dave
     
  8. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes they do...

     
  9. stevesey

    stevesey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Subtle differnce between "stopping traffic" and "pulling people over" ;)
     
  10. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I think fyonn is talking about stopping people for, e.g.,speeding whereas the ability to stop traffic seems to me to be about stopping the traffic flow to dea with an incident.
     
  11. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    They have the power to stop you. Individually. On your own.

    :rolleyes:
     
  12. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Could they stop you because they thought you were speeding?
     
  13. DC_insider

    DC_insider Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Whilst they don't have the power to stop you for speeding they do have direct access to the Police Control Centre so can call in with your details and arrange for the Police to stop you (where available).
     
  14. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Swiss Toni, could they do this because I was, e.g., speeding or because they needed me to stop so they could deal with an incident?
     
  15. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Club Veteran

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    Speed limits are there to be adhered to with or without the Police or HATO watching you. So it's somewhat academic if HATO can stop or report you for speeding, since we are all law abiding citizens and don't speed :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  16. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Slightly odd question - it isn't their role, however...

    If they stopped you, they could provide evidence to the Police who would in turn make a decision as to whether action should follow.

    To make it clear, if 2 of them saw you and provided evidence to the Police, my guess is that they would prosecute as the experience of these employees tends to have been sufficient to convince a court that they are able to judge speed.

    I am not aware of any HA Officers being issued with speed measurement equipment as it is not their role to enforce (thats for the Police), their role is to prevent the Police being tied up cleaning up the mess and diverting thr traffic (via Glasgow it appears?!)


    The presence of a HA Officer is an indication of a potential hazard...
     
  17. robert.saunders

    robert.saunders Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Re: the OP, as for the signs by the roadside (and those huge ones above the carriageway which cost £millions by the way) they are all controlled from a regional control centre fed by zillions of CCTV and information from HATO and Police.

    Each running carriageway has an A-side and B-side which you can see from small signs alongside the motorway edge (plus all furniture on the motorway has an ID number with an A or B to designate which carriageway) and the guys on the road can use these to pass info of where an incident occurs and a super-computer can work out diversion routes - failing that a bloke gets a map out and punches in a route for display. Each regional control centre feeds to the national centre where national trunk routes can show problems hundreds of miles away on so-called strategic routes - eg if channel tunnel is shut and/or operation stack is in force on the M20 you may well see info about that on the Birmingham ring ;)

    Other signs are activated by road speed measuring loops which can activate signage automatically, for speed control (where variable speed limits exist for example) and even weather stations are located on the motorway which can bring up automatic signs (ice etc) and feed info to the control rooms who can also decide to implement a controlled sign.

    Some incidents have set procedures for lane closure, reduced speed depending on where the incident starts, which is either seen by a controller on CCTV or from an officer on the road - and I seem to have gone full circle now!

    Can you tell I have spent a day at a regional control centre :D
     
  18. Swiss Toni

    Swiss Toni Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Not on your Birthday I hope - that would have cost you a fortune in cream cakes... :D
     
  19. oldcro

    oldcro Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Going off topic for a minute.

    There was an item on TV last night showing the opening of a memorial to the 16,000 British service men who have lost their lives since WW2.

    In that same period over 180,000 people have lost their lives on British roads.

    Something to think about next time we deliberately ignore the speed limit or other rules of the road.

    Feel free to throw flack or abuse, I'm old enough to take it.

    oldcro
     
  20. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Every road is a "potential hazard".

    A HA 4x4 trundling along the motorway at 60 doesn't indicate anything, IMHO.

    It does cause a tailback though as all the people who slow down to 25 for a Gatso in a 40 limit won't go past.
     

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