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Safety and visibility upgrades tested in A1(M) Hatfield tunnel

The Highways Agency this weekend carried out a live emergency simulation exercise to test new visibility and safety improvements recently completed in the A1(M) Hatfield tunnel.

The live exercise involving emergency services and other authorities took place overnight on Saturday and involved a simulated serious crash in one of the tunnel bores between a tanker, a minibus, and other vehicles.

A major improvement project on the 1980s-built tunnel — which began in June 2009 and completed in May this year — saw improved lighting and ventilation through the 1.1km long tunnel, new fire safety systems installed and critical areas of the tunnel structure protected with passive fire protection, and CCTV cameras installed.

Saturday night’s exercise included artificial smoke to reduce visibility, a vehicle carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and risk of leakage of an environmental pollutant. Volunteer actors played the role of casualties who had to be safely rescued from the tunnel.

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