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Government awards funding to prevent motorway closures

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It has been announced that the Government will be awarding police with £2.7 million to fund new technology that could prevent motorway closures after accidents.

The number of accidents that happen daily on motorways can cause major traffic jams and can also lead to closures prompting motorists to find an alternative route.

New technology will be introduced that will minimise the time it takes to deal with an accident.

Funding has been awarded to 27 police forces across the UK who have the highest impacted areas in a bid to minimise and shorten motorway closures enabling them to purchase 37 scanners.

The technology of the scanners saves a lot of time by making a 3D image of the whole accident site rather than investigators surveying multiple sections of a scene.

A digital image of the accident can then be viewed on a computer screen allowing investigators to take measurements of where vehicles are and examine important evidence.

The money is to help an initiative that has been set up by the Government known as ‘CLEAR’ which is to deliver action plans aimed at reducing delays caused by accidents and to keep traffic flowing.

An investigation took place in 2010 which found on average the laser scanners saved a total of 39 minutes per accident.

Road Minister, Mike Penning agreed the funding will be a way to tackle motorway issues saying: “We are determined to improve the clear-up of accidents so we can get our motorways re-opened as quickly as possible.

“The £2.7 million funding award will see 3D laser scanners rolled out quickly where they are needed most.

“I would like to thank police forces for seizing this opportunity to purchase laser scanners and contributing funds towards the purchase.

“This clearly demonstrates how forces are committed to helping to keep traffic moving, in support of economic growth, as well as continuing to deliver their vital role in ensuring the safety and security of all road users.”

Last year there were more than 18,000 full or part closures on motorways lasting a total of more than 20,000 hours causing problems for many motorists up and down the UK.

It is hoped the new laser scanners will limit the amount of closures and minimise traffic levels on motorways during accidents.

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By Amanda Bainbridge