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Labour attacks Highways Agency over M4 closure

  • 10 July 2012
  • By Chris Druce

The Labour party has attacked the Highways Agency’s (HA) handling of this weekend’s M4 closure, questioning if the UK’s transport network is up to the task of handling the Olympics.

The M4 was closed at the weekend between Junction 2 and 3, after a crack was found in the elevated section of the motorway, which is a major route linking Heathrow airport to central London.

Junctions 1 and 2 of the M4, around Boston Manor Viaduct, have since reopened. However the M4 westbound remains closed between junctions J2 and J3 and is not expected to reopen until 12 July.

John Woodcock MP, Labour’s shadow transport minister, says:  “It is astonishing that with less than twenty days to go before the Olympic Opening Ceremony, a key part of the M4 to Heathrow Airport will be shut for several days.

“The Highways Agency has known about issues with the viaduct for at least four months, so motorway users will be asking why there has been a panicked closure of the road weeks before the Games.

“Ministers need to confirm that there are contingency plans in place, so that another failure of the M4 would not jeopardise the Games. The Tory-led Government also needs to urgently review the impact of its £435m cuts to road maintenance budgets and whether they have contributed to this mess.”

Operators have been reminded that The Olympic Route Network (ORN) will start operating on 25 July two days ahead of the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/labour-attacks-highways-agency-over-m4-closure