M-way misery goes on

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WIGAN motorists will have to endure more traffic jams in the future after all four Police forces in the North West did not apply for Government funding to give them new laser scanning technology.

Despite having some of Britain’s busiest roads linking the borough to the rest of the country, GMP, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cheshire police forces did not apply for the Government grant which would have given them access to new 3D laser scanning technology.

The technology saves time by quickly making a 3D image of the whole crash site, rather than investigators painstakingly surveying multiple sections of a scene. This digital image of the site can then be viewed on a computer screen remotely allowing investigators to take measurements of where vehicles are in relation to each other and examine other important evidence.

The Department for Transport confirmed that all forces in England were offered the chance to apply for the grants, and that every force that applied received the funding.

Last year there were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures lasting a total of more than 20,000 hours.

However, all four constabularies in the region did not apply for the funding, despite having the M6, M62, M60 and M56 motorways on their doorstep as well as many other major A roads.

Thirty seven laser scanning units worth £2.7m have been shared out among 27 forces across England.

In carrying out collision investigation the police already use technology to survey an incident scene to assist in understanding what may have happened. But technology used in the recent trials enables the faster capture of survey data.

Roads Minister Mike Penning said: “There is nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end. But even worse than that is the shocking £1bn cost of those lost hours for our economy.

“That is why we are determined to improve the clear-up of accidents and get our motorways re-opened as quickly as possible.”

All four police forces in question refused to comment.