Moving stranded vehicles


We’ve invested £200,000 in new equipment and training for our traffic officers to help speed up the time it takes to move ‘non-rolling’ broken down vehicles – including electric vehicles – to a safe place and keep traffic moving.

The initiative

All our traffic officer vehicles are now equipped with plastic skates and battery boosters to help slash the time it takes to move a stranded vehicle out of a live lane on motorways and major A-roads.

The skates help to reduce the surface friction between tyre and road, allowing the vehicle to be towed to a place of safety by a traffic officer. They can be used to safely move depleted electric vehicles (EVs). Towing an EV can greatly damage the vehicle due to how the motors are attached to the wheels and their lack of a true neutral gear. Where previously traffic officers had to wait for a recovery vehicle, EVs can now be moved right away with the use of this new equipment. 

Additionally, our traffic officer vehicles have been equipped with battery boosters. These are an effective tool to combat a battery failure on a combustion engine vehicle. The booster will enable traffic officers to take off an electronic handbrake, or move an automatic car into neutral, to allow it to be moved to a place of safety.

The results  

The new equipment allows our traffic officers to be much more agile when dealing with broken down vehicles. This means we can speed up clearance times, further improve road safety and get carriageways back to normal running quicker. It’s expected that removing incidents from live lanes more quickly will equate to a minimum boost of £29.8m per year to the UK economy.

Moving stranded vehicles
"Safety is one of National Highways top priorities, and when we’re dealing with a non-rolling vehicle in a live lane our primary concern is finding a way to move the vehicle to an area of safety as quickly as possible whilst minimising risk. This new equipment is a great addition to our vehicles as we’re able to safely move vehicles much more effectively, which gets the recovery process moving much faster helping to minimise any delays to other road users."
Dave Harford, National Highways Traffic officer