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Ten ‘quick wins’ transport chiefs hope will improve travel on the A55 / A494.

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Nov 13th, 2017.

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The Welsh Government has identified 10 ‘quick wins’ which it plans to implement on the A55 / A494 to ease congestion and improve how incidents are dealt with.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates commissioned a study looking at ways of improving journey times and reliability on A55 and A494, the study is on top of the already proposed £250m Deeside ‘Red Route’ corridor upgrade.

The ‘WelTAG Stage One report‘ published last week takes a close look at improving the A494 corridor from the Ewloe Interchange to Drome Corner which would have seen major upgrade work completed as part of the proposed ‘Blue Route’ which wasn’t chosen by the Welsh Government following the recent Deeside Corridor improvements consultation.  

It also looks at the lack of suitable diversion routes at times of roadworks or incidents, which tend to be rural secondary roads alongside the A55 and generally unable to cope with an influx of traffic whenever the A55 is forced to close.

[miptheme_quote author=”Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates” style=”boxquote text-left”]The study has considered all aspects of the road from Holyhead to Post House, associated routes such as the A494 corridor from the Ewloe Interchange to Drome Corner and diversion routes.

As a result, we will be implementing a number of interventions we can put in place quickly to improve the travel experience whilst considering other potential improvements for the future.

These ‘quick win’ measures will complement existing plans along this key strategic route and help minimise the frequency and impact of incidents and breakdowns.

I hope today’s announcements will mean communities and businesses in North Wales and beyond can look forward with confidence to continued improvements and limited disruption, with the prospect of major improvements to come.[/miptheme_quote][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1510534827873{margin-top: -10px !important;}”]In total 91 recommendations have been made in the report, they have been grouped into differing implementation time periods from the 10 ‘quick wins’ – those to be implemented within six months, through to long-term options which will take over two years to implement.

Some of the longer terms recommendations include reducing the number of junctions – this could see the removal of junction 33A Connah’s Quay eastbound, close the eastbound slip roads at junction 32B Pentre Halkyn and junction 33 Northop.

Accident hot spots along the A55 / A494

Limit HGV’s from overtaking on uphill stretches and prohibit tractors from using the A55.

All lane running‘ similar to those seen on so-called smart motorway concepts from junction 32 to Junction 26 at Broughton, and from Ewloe to the Queensferry river bridge.

This option would include variable speed limits, hard shoulders used as third lanes, emergency refuge area’s and variable message signs.

A third lane added from junction 28 Waen to junction 36A Broughton and from Elwoe to the river bridge at Queensferry.
Concrete central barriers on stretches on the trunk road including along Aston Hill to Ewloe.

The 10 quick fixes which could be in place within six months.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”The 10 ‘Quick Fixes'” color=”blue” style=”dotted” border_width=”3″][vc_column_text]

1. Wireless CCTV

Additional CCTV coverage through current significant gaps on the network to improve overall response capability.

2. Incident Detection Software.

Quicker discovery and verification of incidents on the network.

3. Free vehicle recovery from incident hotspots

To improve incident resolution time by providing a service at critical locations and times e.g. Rhuallt Hill Bank Holiday Weekend

4. Web-based analytical tool to advise users on future typical travel times and real-time traffic conditions

Promote web based analytical tool to advise users on future typical travel times and real time traffic conditions

5. Traffic Officer coverage extended hours

To provide improved incident identification and recovery at critical times e.g. major events; Bank holidays

6. Additional Traffic Officer Unit

Provide improved incident identification and recovery (e.g. through shorter patrol routes) whilst also extending cover to the whole of the A55 across Anglesey

7. Additional mobile Variable Messaging Signs

To better communicate with travelling public re journey times, congestion, delays, incidents and positive messages

8. Communications Manager

To coordinate/manage all communications to customers to provide a proactive communication service pan Wales.

9. Performance Analysis

Enhance performance analysis to measure the effectiveness of interventions against the baseline and inform decisions and support continuous improvement

10. Average Speed Enforcement at Rhuallt Hill (Westbound)

To reduce the number of excess speed-related collisions.

 

 

 

 

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