The Challenge:

To deliver a collaborative, innovative and efficient approach to Incident management, asset inspection and defect rectification with a focus on reducing customer journey reliability time. 

Prior to the introduction of the ECRU, up to three
separate vehicles would attend an incident; Traffic
Officer vehicle, Asset Incident Watchman and a
traffic management vehicle.

The ECRU allows both Traffic Officers and Asset Incident Watchmen to work in collaboration in the same vehicle with a crash cushion and matrix sign.

The Solution:

The ECRU will consolidate the need for multiple vehicles required for incident management. It will be jointly operated by Highways England Staff and Kier Operatives. This allows dual working from one vehicle with all the apparatus stored in the ECRU vehicle.

Features include:

  • Onboard welfare facilities e.g. kitchen and toilet to enable crews to operate on the strategic road network for longer periods of time without the need to access other facilities
  • Variable message signs and a crash cushion with matrix sign to inform the customer at the same time as giving operatives a place of safety when working
  • A deployable mechanical sweeper for swifter, safer clear up of debris and spillages following RTCs.

The Impact:

The ECRU will reduce journey time for customers of the strategic road network, it will also assist in clearing incidents at a much quicker rate compared to the current method of incident management. The project supports Highways England’s three key imperatives, Safety, Customer and Delivery.

This collaborative approach to inspection, defect rectification and incident management is a UK first. Highways England along with Kier is committed to enhancing the customer journey on the strategic road network by delivering innovation through a collaborative customer-focused approach whilst increasing the safety of the road workers and customers.

This is in line with Highways England’s 2040 aim of: “No-one should be harmed when travelling or working on the strategic road network.”

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