Highways England, the government company responsible for the country’s motorways and major A roads, has joined forces with the Network Training Partnership (NTP) to offer rescue and roadside recovery services up and down the country a brand new training course that will help them to work safely on smart motorways.

The first training course of its kind for the recovery industry, the Smart Motorways Awareness For The Roadside Rescue & Recovery Industry course has been designed to provide practical, relevant training to identify safe working practices when attending breakdowns or collisions on the smart motorway network.

The eight hour, single day course will train recovery vehicle operators to formulate a recovery plan upon evaluating the safe working practices when attending breakdowns or collisions on the Smart Motorway network.

Smart motorways have been designed with safety in mind and the course covers the working methods that enable recovery operatives to carry out their vital roles safely. Key safety principles include:

  • Vehicle recovery operators are never expected to recover a vehicle in a live lane on a smart motorway.
  • Highways England can close lanes and set speed limits to support recovery operators by setting signs and signals
  • Highways England can allocate traffic officers or call on police resource to ensure recovery vehicle operators’ safety

A key aspect of the course is that it fits seamlessly with the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC), which is the standard qualification all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers, as well as recovery operatives, must hold. The course contributes to the 35 hours of training that accredited drivers must complete every five years.

Colin Stevenson, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Highways England said:

“The course has been developed specifically for roadside rescue and recovery drivers who use the motorway network and has been designed to aid practical, relevant training.

Those completing the course will have a better understanding of the different types of smart motorways and how to formulate a recovery plan incorporating safe working practices when dealing with incidents on smart motorways.”

Gary Tucker, Managing Director of the Network Training Partnership and PATAM said:

“NTP was delighted to be chosen to design the smart motorways DCPC course. We have delivered training to over 3000+ delegates as part of our series of courses, many of whom work within the recovery industry. It is imperative that individuals attend this training to improve knowledge and safety of both the breakdown and recovery industry and the general public.”

Mick Puleston, Vice President of the Association of Vehicle Recovery Operators (AVRO) said:

“AVRO believes that training is key to providing staff with the work skills required to provide a professional image to the industry and applaud Highways England for embracing the recovery industry by introducing a training package specific to our work on the strategic road network which will be endorsed for the Driver CPC.”

Derek Muir, RAC health and safety operations manager said:

“Smart motorways represent the future of Britain’s motorway network and the aim should always be how we make these types of roads as safe as possible both for those operating on them professionally and for customers who use them. We welcome Highways England’s engagement on this matter and look forward to working with them to establish best practice and procedures to improve safety on the network.”

Chris Hoare, Chairman of The Institute of Vehicle Recovery said:

‘The Institute of Vehicle Recovery (IVR) has given its backing to the new smart motorways recovery vehicle awareness course, which gives all in the recovery industry a greater awareness of some of the additional considerations when working on a smart motorway. 

IVR’s previous collaborations with HE and other agencies produced the Life on the Edge 7 film and the SURVIVE Safety Rules, both of which are incorporated in the course.  This collaborative approach of sharing best practice to deliver clear consistent messages, raises standards and ultimately provides a safer working environment for those operating in the vehicle recovery sector’.

Highways England will have a stand at the Recovery Tow Show 2019 in Telford on the 25 and 26 September to speak to the wider recover industry about the new recovery vehicle smart motorway course. For more information about the show, please go to http://recoverytowshow.co.uk/.

Any company which wishes to enrol their drivers on the training should email: [email protected]