Fuel bikeIn less than two months, 17 drivers have already caused tailbacks through a major section of roadworks due to running out of fuel – leading Highways England to introduce rapid-assistance motorcycles carrying emergency fuel to stranded motorists.

It’s the first time so-called ‘fuel bikes’ have been used by Highways England.

The bikes are being used on the M5 Oldbury Viaduct roadworks section in the West Midlands. The £100 million repair scheme has reduced both carriageways to two narrow lanes, with a 30mph speed limit.

The motorcycles are thus able to reach stranded motorists much more quickly, helping get them underway and keep traffic flowing.

“Since the contraflow came into effect, we’ve already seen a number of fuel-related breakdowns in the roadworks section,” said Highways England project manager Alastair Warnes.

“In fact, on the very first day of the contraflow coming into effect, the first breakdown was caused by someone that had run out of fuel.

“By offering this type of assistance, we’re able to minimise disruption to others driving through the roadworks.”

Although Warnes did add that motorists could also do their bit by ensuring they have enough fuel before setting off…

The M5 Oldbury Viaduct roadworks will remain in place until autumn 2018, with minor work continuing until spring 2019.