Highways Agency signs historic partnership with two caravan clubs
The Highways Agency has made an historic commitment to the thousands of campers and caravanners who use its motorways and A roads.
The Agency has signed a tri-party agreement with partners The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club during one of the biggest events in the UK caravan industry calendar.
Graham Dalton, Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, put pen to paper with Nick Lomas, Director General of The Caravan Club, and Robert Louden MBE, Director General of The Camping and Caravanning Club, at the 2014 Motorhome & Caravan Show in Birmingham.
This is the first tri-party agreement of its kind that the Agency has entered into and reflects the closer relationship it is looking to develop with the many different users of its road network. In total, the two clubs represent around 1.5 million campers and caravanners.
Graham said: “England’s motorways and major A roads help millions of people get away on their holidays every year.
“Campers, caravanners and motorhome users use our roads to get to their destinations – and we want all their journeys to be as safe and as trouble free as possible.
“We want to help drivers with advice on planning their journeys and encourage them to prepare their vehicles or trailers. Meanwhile, the government is investing heavily to reduce congestion and make journeys a lot smoother.”
Under the banner of Safer journeys, happier holidays, the 15 October agreement comes as the Agency moves towards becoming a government-owned company in 2015, with additional responsibility and accountability towards its customers - road users.
It also means the three organisations can continue to build on their previous joint achievements which were carried out under separate agreements.
In practice the agreement will herald:
- Closer liaison and collaboration in areas concerning road safety and road safety campaigns
- Further development of best practice, such as towing best practice and communicating this to club members
- Sharing more information and intelligence to improve journey time reliability for club members and develop a mutual understanding with the clubs
- A positive platform for the Highways Agency to communicate with club members and listen to their views.
Nick Lomas said: “Most of The Club’s one million members are regular users of the strategic road network.
“It’s important to us that holiday journeys are safe, reliable and trouble free, and our work in conjunction with the Highways Agency helps to ensure that is the case.
“We are pleased to make this new commitment to continuing joint activities, and look forward to an ongoing successful partnership.”
Robert Louden added: “The welfare and safety of camping units in all their many forms is hugely important to us here at The Camping and Caravanning Club.
“But we believe leisure motoring should be enjoyable too - heading off on a touring holiday should feel like part of the adventure.
“That’s why we are delighted to stand together with our partners to represent the interests of our club members on the open road, to make for happier, safer journeys and a better start and end to their touring breaks.”
Notes to editors
1. The agreement between the three organisations is a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together in joint areas of mutual interest.
2. Previously we had signed two separate MoUs with the clubs: One in 2009 with The Caravan Club and one in 2010 with The Camping and Caravanning Club.
3. Relatively few incidents on our network involve caravans or trailers (2.5 per cent of all incidents between April and June 2014, which includes other leisure trailers and horse boxes) but we work hard to minimise all incidents, regardless of the type of vehicle. Ensuring caravanners are “Fit to tow” is just one way we can do this.
The majority of incidents involving caravans on our network are actually breakdowns
4. Maintenance and improvement projects: We plan maintenance and improvement projects carefully to allow road works to be completed safely, in a cost effective way while keeping disruption to road users to a minimum. We do as much work as possible overnight and when roads are less busy in order to keep more lanes open for road users at peak travel times. Drivers are advised to check their route for road works and allow extra time for their journeys where needed. We have a variety of journey planning tools that road users can use to check travel conditions on the roads we manage, and we will do all we can to keep road users informed.
5. Safety at roadworks: The Highways Agency is working with the industry and road users to reduce the risks of working on the roads. For the safety of road workers and all road users, when you are approaching roadworks:
- Keep within the speed limit – it is there for your safety.
- Get into the correct lane in good time – don’t keep switching.
- Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
- Be alert for works’ traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
- Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
- Observe all signs – they are there to help you.
6. Real-time traffic information for England’s motorways and other strategic roads is available:
- From the web at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or from a phone or mobile device at m.highways.gov.uk.
- By phone from the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 at any time. (Calls to 03 numbers are charged at no more than a national call to an 01 or 02 number and are included in all discount schemes and call allowances. This applies to all landlines, mobiles and payphones. Call costs will vary depending on your landline or mobile supplier). Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call. Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency.
- On an iPhone app which will automatically select the region you are in. Free to download from the iTunes store or search for Highways Agency on your device.
- From Twitter – there are eight feeds with live traffic information provided by region. For the full index visit www.highways.gov.uk/twitter.
For further information please contact:
01306 878 651
Media enquiries outside of office hours should be made to the Highways Agency National Press Office (24hrs) on 0844 693 1448.