How We Improved Motorway Safety Ahead of Schedule

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Motorway junctions are, naturally, busy places, and Switch Island, near Aintree in Merseyside is no exception, being one of the country’s busiest.

Safety at these junctions is a priority. In fact, Switch Island has been the site of frequent traffic collisions, a situation made worse by the opening of the Thornton bypass in 2015.

An estimated 90,000 vehicles a day pass through this junction, where the M57, M58 and three A roads all meet.


Mission: Improvement

The government has funded the Switch Island relief project from its £220 million congestion relief programme, with the aim of making it easier and safer for drivers to pass through the junction.

The improvement works include: LED road studs, similar to those used on airport runways; high-mounted traffic lights for better surfaces; high friction surfaces; and new road signs.

Altitude Services’ role was in providing and installing the road signs.

The works included destination signs displayed on four new overhead gantries.

With 49 collision recorded in a two-year period, making Switch Island safer for drivers had become a pressing priority, and we were eager to play our part in contributing to the project.


The Living Design Legacy of UK Road Signs

The UK’s road sign designs are the result of a careful design strategy and leave a living legacy because their essential qualities remain largely unchanged.

They use a specially designed font, Transport; clearly spaced upper and lower case typography; with careful colour coding on the sign backgrounds to show the class of road.

A further, important element, is their illumination, to ensure both maximum readability and recognition for drivers.


An Early Finish

The whole project began in early 2018 and was scheduled to take 12 months to complete.

However, by working diligently and efficiently, and with admirable co-ordination by the main contractor, Balfour Beatty Mott McDonald, the Switch Island project was completed six weeks ahead of schedule.

It was important to try and minimise disruption to normal traffic throughout the work, and to ensure safe working practices at all times.

It made sense, therefore, to carry out a large proportion of the work overnight.

The completed work means that alongside the LED road studs, heightened traffic lights and new road markings, there are brand new verge-mounted and overhead illuminated signs, which draw on a tradition of design excellence.

We’re delighted and proud to have been a part of this effort to improve the safety of the motorway for its many thousands of daily drivers.

For more about Altitude Services’ traffic signage work, please click here.

You can contact us by calling 01282 450525, emailing [email protected] or please complete our online enquiry form.

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