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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
'Jam busters' take to the roads
Traffic jam
Motorway patrols are being despatched from the out-stations
New traffic officers have taken to the roads in Lancashire to help beat congestion and improve safety.

Based at Samlesbury, the uniformed "jam busters" will join colleagues already patrolling the motorway networks in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

The Highways Agency scheme, which helps drivers and works with the police to manage incidents and reduce congestion, has already been hailed a success.

The service is being rolled out across the whole of the North West this year.

Merseyside and Cumbria will follow Lancashire as part of the 14.6m region-wide scheme.

'More reliable'

When the service is fully operational in the North West in July, about 200 staff will be actively involved on motorway patrols across the region.

They will operate from out-stations in Samlesbury, Knutsford, Milnrow, Newton-le-Willows, Low Hurst in Carlisle and Millness in Kendal.

A further 200 people are based in the Regional Control Centre, which is off the M6 at Newton-le-Willows.

Staff at the North West control centre, which operates around the clock, despatch motorway patrols from the out-stations.

The Highways Agency said control centres had been opened in every region in England.

Highways Agency Network Operations Manager, David Ryder, said: "The new traffic officers will improve services to road users - making journeys more reliable and ensuring that time spent in jams is kept to a minimum.

"Since the service started in Cheshire in September, we have received praise from stranded drivers and worked closely with the police dealing with the aftermath of incidents to reduce congestion."

New traffic control centre opens
05 Sep 05 |  Merseyside
Traffic levels reach new record
26 Aug 05 |  Scotland


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