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Total shutdown mooted to aid motorway repair

COMPLETE SHUTDOWNS of motorways for repairs could be considered to combat increasing traffic congestion.

Responding to a call by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) for drastic action to beat congestion caused by road repairs, the Highways Agency has said that closures could be possible.

'We now have alternative, high standard diversion routes available for the majority of the key routes that are being considered for improvement by the multimodal studies, and where these are available there may be occasions where limited complete closures of motorways are the most effective way forward, ' an Agency spokesman said.

FTA chief executive and civil engineer Richard Turner told a meeting in Manchester that radical rethinking was needed to overhaul the country's motorway network, which the FTA says is worn-out and stretched beyond capacity. Complete closures of motorways should be among the options considered, he added.

'Our road engineers have done us proud, squeezing road traffic in alongside construction, working at night and in bad weather to get the job done.

But we are near the limit of their ingenuity, ' he said.

An FTA spokesman said that closures for around three months were envisaged to beat congestion which a recent FTA survey says has now hit record levels.

She added that new pumps and self cleaning equipment were also being installed in the storm tanks to the west of the site that collect and balances incoming flows when rainfall is high.

'The cleaning jets recirculate flow and stop sediment from settling in the tanks, ' she said.

This means that when the tank is emptied no smelly sediment is left in the tanks. The work will be complete by October.

Thames Water is also investigating what improvements need to be made to the storm tanks on the east side of the STW that residents claimed have also caused odour.

Mogden resident Simon Fullalove welcomed the news this week but said that local people were still concerned about the mosquito problem in the region.

Thames Water is planning to study the issue in February next year.

The government is poised to issue guidance to local authorities on how smelly sewage works can be avoided following other complaints about STWs in Liverpool and Plymouth.

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