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  2010 news

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John McTaggart is the new Regional Operations Manager in charge of the North West Traffic Officer Service
14 OCT 10 HGV NEWS
Mr John McTaggart, North West Traffic Officer Service John, 45, is a former Cheshire Police and Merseyside Police officer who joined the Highways Agency’s strategic planning team in Manchester in 2007.

He started work as the region’s new ROM last month (September) just as the North West Traffic Officer Service – launched firstly to Cheshire motorways in September 2005 – was marking its fifth birthday.

John, who lives in Wirral, Merseyside, has many years of operational and incident management experience from his police background. He also has an MBA, and is married with an eight year old son.

Most recently the Highways Agency’s North West Strategic Planning Team manager, John says he is looking forward to returning to a more operational role in heading up the North West Traffic Officer Service which has its headquarters at the hi-tech North West Regional Control Centre at Newton-le-Willows, just off Junction 23 of the M6.

He said, “I am joining staff at Rob Lane at an exciting and challenging time when we are integrating our traffic officer and information services to provide an even better experience for road users.

Mr John McTaggart, North West Traffic Officer Service Since January the NWTOS has been managed by Greg Taylor, one of the service’s Operations Managers.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, the Highways Agency’s director for traffic management in charge of the country’s Traffic Officer Service, said, “In joining the Traffic Officer Service John brings with him considerable operational experience and a wealth of skills in leading the effective delivery of services through operational teams. We are delighted to have him on board.

“I would like to thank Greg and the wider team within the North West for the way they have maintained operational performance as well as driving through other initiatives to help develop the service.”

There are some 300 on road and control room Traffic Officers in the North West. Their role is to keep drivers on the move by tackling incidents which cause congestion – either by responding to incidents in patrols from six outstations or working in the Regional Control Centre to set electronic signs, monitor the network of motorway CCTV cameras


The war on the motorist is over, the Transport Secretary said yesterday on his first day in the job.
14th May 2010 | Daily Mail

Philip Hammond promised to end the way the country's 33million drivers have been targeted by an array of speed cameras and cowboy clampers. He also pledged to 'sweat the assets' of the road, rail and aviation infrastructure to get value for money for taxpayers.

The secretary of state pledged to scrap public funding for speed cameras and said he would consult on a plan to curb pump prices when oil prices soar Mr Hammond promised: 'We will end the war on motorists. Motoring has got to get greener, but the car is not going to go away.'

The Tory Cabinet minister stressed the coalition government would abide by a Tory manifesto promise not to fund any more fixed-position speed cameras. Councils could fund them if they had the money and could justify their use - but the money raised would go to the Treasury, he said.

He ruled out 'pay as you drive' charging for existing roads for the duration of the Parliament.

And there are no plans to charge for the use of the hard shoulder or additional lanes built to existing roads.

But Mr Hammond did back road tolls to pay for new roads - such as has already happened with the M6.

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Family cheat death in m-way horror smash
Dan Thompson
February 15, 2010

select for full story
A family had a lucky escape after a truck ploughed into their broken-down car on a motorway hard shoulder – seconds after they had got out.

Driver Dawn Campbell, sister Sue Thomas and Sue's baby Sophie were advised to get out of their Vauxhall Safira by traffic officers, moments before the crash on the M60.

The three family members have now thanked one of the traffic officers, Martin Doran from Middleton, for the warning that saved their lives.

Dawn, 45, said: “It doesn't bear thinking about how bad it could've been. I'm so grateful to the traffic officers for getting there so quickly and advising us to get out.

“It was a cold and miserable night and we would have stayed in the car otherwise. Less than a minute later a box van had crashed into our car.

Danger

“We could be dead. I didn't realise the danger of the hard shoulder but I will be passing their advice onto everyone I know.”

School teacher Dawn, from Rawtenstall, was driving Sue and six-month old Sophie along the M60 towards the M66 when the car started to cut out near junction 17 at Prestwich.

She pulled onto the hard shoulder and called her breakdown service. A minute later Martin and his colleague from the Highways Agency, arrived.

They gave baby Sophie a blanket and told the family to get behind the barrier.

Moments later a seven-tonne box van swerved to avoid a pile-up on the carriageway and careered into their car – leaving the family shocked but glad to be alive.

Dawn wrote to the Highways Agency after the accident to thank the officers for their 'fantastic' efforts.

Greg Taylor of the Highways Agency, said: “Traffic Officers frequently stop to offer safety advice and reassurance to people stranded in the hard shoulder - especially vulnerable travellers like families with children.

"Although our Traffic Officers from Milnrow were only doing their jobs it is clear that their advice helped prevent a tragedy.

“This story underlines the need for anyone breaking down to get away from the vehicle and stand behind the safety barrier at the earliest opportunity.”

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