Traffic management installed for a 5-mile-long safety barrier upgrade on the A1 has scored 98% in a recent customer audit – the highest score in the country.
This is the second phase of the A1 Wothorpe to Junction 17 (Peterborough) project to upgrade safety barriers and install safety signage. It started in December 2022, between Wansford and Junction 17 at Peterborough, and has necessitated full weekend closures northbound and southbound plus a managed speed limit.
The traffic management approach has been recognized for its customer-focused approach concentrating on three main areas: minimizing disruption and reducing journey delays; advanced information provision to aid journey planning; and behaviour change by encouraging drivers to slow down.
The customer audit was carried out by National Highways to understand the performance of the diversion route under different conditions. Like mystery shoppers, the auditors posed as customers using the road. They provided feedback on a range of metrics including signage, customer perception and safety.
Seven assessors travelled the route between November 2022 and March 2023.
The A1 Wothorpe scored 100% for customer perception indicating that the roadworks and diversion route caused limited disruption to the customer journey. It also scored 100% for safety, with the auditors remarking that they felt both safe and confident driving the diversion route.
The scheme scored 94% for its use of signage providing information to the customer about the closure and directing them to the diversion route in plenty of time.
Stephen Shaw, Framework Manager at HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd, said:
“This was an outstanding result for the scheme and builds upon the success of previous audits. The mystery shopper format works well and provides valuable feedback about where we are doing well and where we need to improve. For example, we will take another look at our signage to ensure that signs are not obstructed and that we make the reason why there is a closure or diversion clear to the customer to improve our scores in this area.
“Credit goes to Craig Grainger (Project Coordinator), Helen Ryan (Contract Manager), Shaun Nicholson (Traffic Management Foreman) and the rest of the workforce. I’m pleased to see their hard work recognized.”