Highways agency set stall out for 2012

Have you ever wondered where your road tax goes or when you take out your van insurance what the premium contributes to? Well, with van insurance, we know that a lot of the cost recently has gone to paying out the spurious whiplash injuries that have pushed up the price of vehicle cover across the board.

But road tax, at least a percentage, goes towards the highways agency and looking after over 4,000 miles of UK motorways. If we want to keep our van insurance premium at any sort of affordable rate, the roads upon which we travel need to be at optimum driveability to avoid incidents.

And that’s exactly what they intend to do with the rest of this year and have laid out their budget and targets online so that we know roughly where our contributions are going to.

In general, there is an underlying theme for the Highways Agency to improve roads in an efficient manner, wherever the work is needed, in and around areas of local industry. The priority is to get the economy back on its feet, so where there is a need for road works to ensure business is kept ticking over, then they are likely to address issues there first than before those in rural communities.

The inaugural Asset Support Contract will go live mid-2012, an initiative to deliver a better strategic road network whilst simultaneously seeking to offer more value for money than its predecessor. And, as we reported here on cheapvaninsurance.co.uk some time ago, the deployment of the CLEAR system following any motorway incident will be implemented, certainly for the stages of that initiative that are operable.

CLEAR is one of the better uses of technology of governmental departments in recent times. Due to motorway closure times, causes of accidents to determine where blame lies and some dubious motor insurance claims, the system seeks to understand what or who caused any accident and take preventative measures wherever possible to avoid a repeat performance in the future.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out as consumers will, for the first time, be able to give feedback about the handling of such instances and about the role of the Highways Agency in general. The accidents that do happen will also be given a severity rating, assuming using information gleaned from CLEAR and priorities will be determined from that evidence regards reduction of opportunity for similar accidents to happen again.

There are many more specifics on the highways agency site but, in order to retain a cheap van insurance following an incident that was not your fault, you now stand a better chance than ever of proving you were not to blame as the crash analysis using CLEAR will not only clear the affected area of the motorway more but also look to exonerate anyone not directly involved with the cause.

An interesting year ahead, then, especially with the reduced budget as prescribed in the 2010 budget.

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