Safety campaign launched as drivers ignore the Red ‘X’ signal on motorway signs

Saturday February 10th 2024

Traffic Scotland launch Red ‘X’ safety campaign


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Traffic Scotland’s Control Room Operators often witness drivers on CCTV ignoring the Red ‘X’ signal on motorway signs. This puts other drivers, road workers, emergency services and anyone involved in the incident at risk.

The campaign comes after the trial of the new automated vehicle restraint barrier system on either side of the Queensferry Crossing in November 2023. These barriers will allow M90 traffic to be diverted via the Forth Road Bridge more rapidly, should the Queensferry Crossing need to be closed for any reason.

When preparing to move the barriers into place, a Red ‘X’ sign is shown across all lanes on the motorway signs, directing users to stop until the movement of the barriers is complete. Only once all traffic has stopped will the automated barriers be moved.

It is illegal and dangerous to ignore the Red ‘X’. If a road user fails to stop and is caught, there is the risk of a £100 fine and three penalty points.

While traffic on the south approach to the bridge stopped when the Red ‘X’ signs were shown, the north approach unfortunately were not so quick to comply. This lengthened the time it takes before traffic is permitted to use the Forth Road Bridge, further delaying road users on the M90.

Chris Tracey, BEAR Scotland’s South East Unit Bridges Manager, said: “Crucially, it is now faster to redirect M90 traffic onto the Forth Road Bridge than it is to divert via the Kincardine Bridge, so this will be the default process from now on if the Queensferry Crossing has to close for any reason.

“There are limits to how quickly the diversion can be opened, as traffic management must still be put in place to close slip roads at Queensferry and Ferrytoll and traffic already on the Queensferry Crossing must be given time to clear the bridge, however our aim is to speed up the overall process as much as possible and we learned a lot from this trial that will help us to do this.

“One of the biggest areas for improvement was in the time it took for traffic to comply with Red ‘X’ signs on the overhead gantries. These instructions to stop are mandatory and we’ll provide any assistance we can to help Police Scotland enforce them.”

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