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As a leading provider of HGV training in South Gloucestershire, we are acutely aware of how even a minor accident or breakdown can drastically affect traffic during peak travel times. We routinely see problems developing on the M4, M5 and M32 motorways in the south-west of England. Unfortunately, the problems are not limited to the South West. The same kinds of problems with traffic congestion exist throughout the UK.

The good news is that Highways England recognises that they have a deficiency in the area of communications. Recent comments by agency officials suggest they are starting to understand the need to change the way things are done if they are to improve incident management and communication with drivers. Highways England CFO Stephen Dauncey even went so far as to tell a recent forum that his agency must improve customer service.

“Our digital capability is way behind any other service business,” Dauncey said. “These are new skills we’ve never had to do but now, with customer expectations, we’ve got to do so much more.”

Dauncey also explained that his agency focuses more on incident management than communicating with drivers. In other words, when an accident is reported, they focus primarily on managing response and clean-up. Not enough attention is being paid to diverting drivers from the accident scene or informing them what is going on. This is the area of incident management Highways England believes relates to customer service.

Results of Poor Communication

What happens when Highways England fails to effectively communicate incidents to drivers? Long lines of congested traffic that can take hours to get through. The most aggravating thing for drivers is that many will choose an alternate route if they know ahead of time about an incident that is slowing things down. Highways England needs to improve its customer service and communication skills if it expects drivers to avoid congestion.

According to Fleet News UK, the need for better communication from Highways England is underscored by growing traffic on our roads. Statistics indicate that van traffic has increased more than 6% while HGV and car traffic is up about 1%. The data also shows that the total number of miles driven has increased in line with the expanding economy. If we expect economic growth to continue, additional upgrades must be made to improve traffic flow on motorways and carriageways.

The HGV Training Centre experiences the traffic congestion problems first-hand all across the UK. But as we tell our student drivers, congestion is a reality of life that must be dealt with in the best way possible. While we wait for Highways England to improve its communications capabilities, every driver needs to make a concerted effort to slow down and be more patient.

If you are interested in learning more about our HGV training in South Gloucestershire, or anywhere else in the UK for that matter, do not hesitate to contact us. We are available to answer your questions or sign you up for classes.

Sources:

Fleet News UK – https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2016/03/07/highways-england-must-improve-communication-to-drivers

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