10 May 2004

Independent traffic officers are to ensure the smooth running of Britain’s motorways instead of the police. Last week a new civilian force was formally launched in the West Midlands, where the service will start. It will be rolled out across the whole of England’s motorway network by the end of 2005.

Uniformed Highways Agency traffic officers will patrol the motorways in marked vehicles and are trained to get traffic moving quickly after an accident or other incident.

In the past, traffic manage-ment was low on the police agenda. ‘This will allow the police to concentrate on catching criminals – and we will be able to manage the traffic better,’ claimed an HA spokesman.

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