A Congestion-Free August Bank Holiday (Almost)

Desiree Michels

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Well, the August Bank Holiday is behind us. If you or your drivers were on courier jobs which included stretches of motorway or major “A” roads, then you will probably have noticed the almost total absence of road works. This was thanks to the efforts of Highways England, which made a special effort to get major routes open and free of clutter so that the increased traffic loads associated with public holidays would be able to flow as smoothly as possible with less congestion and fewer jams. And in our business, we know only too well that backed-up traffic hurts schedules and adds time and costs across the board.

Logistics: An Essential Middleman

The logistics industry is vital to the UK’s supply chain. Industries, companies and individuals rely on quick, reliable and cost-efficient services that keep the wheels of the country’s commerce turning.

The government and the FTA realize this. The efforts to finish roadworks on main traffic arteries by the Bank Holiday were just one example of how government agencies (in this case Highways England) get traffic moving smoothly and quickly.

For its part, the FTA has, over the summer, been explaining how the logistics industry (including courier jobs whether large or small) impacts the country’s economy. Regardless of the load – from huge containers to small packages – each and every one of us relies on the logistics industry.

Whatever the business, wherever it or its customers are located, the FTA’s ‘Delivering the Summer’ campaign has focused on showing the public the importance of the logistics industry and of quick and efficient services.

If not for the logistics industry, supermarket shelves would be empty, football stadiums would lack the essential supplies they need for every game, your favourite sun block wouldn’t be available at the local chemist’s, and even prestigious events such as the Edinburgh Festival and Glastonbury would be hard to get off the ground.

The Challenge for The Future

The UK’s road system is undergoing massive changes as the government invests more and more in developing and improving road infrastructures. For road users, drivers, passengers and goods, this inevitably means road works that will, in the long term, improve our roads, but which in the short term cause traffic jams, longer journeys, extra costs, and a lot of frustration,

The August Bank Holiday initiative by Highways England is just one example of what can and must be done to minimise the adverse effects of potentially disruptive road works. It is the job of the FTA and all government agencies to stay on top of the problem and to make operative plans to reduce congestion caused by road works on major routes, especially during peak seasons.

This August showed that it can be done. Traffic flowed smoothly apart from inevitable delays caused by overcrowding on the roads. This meant that courier jobs were, for the most part, easier to complete on time. The FTA’s role is, as Malcolm Bingham, Head of FTA’s Road Network Management Policy recently stated, “…to continue urging drivers to use the roads responsibly as interruptions to the network raise the cost of moving goods to shops, supermarkets as well as services to festivals and weekend events”.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.


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