A behind the scenes documentary showing what it takes to keep one of the country’s busiest motorways open starts next week.
The BBC2 documentary The Motorway: Life in the Fast Lane will show the weird and wonderful things that can and do happen regularly on the M6 motorway. The first of four episodes airs Tuesday 9 September at 9pm.
The Highways Agency gave camera crews from The Garden Productions unprecedented access to follow its staff and partners Amey, Skanska, the Central Motorway Police Group and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency over six months which included the storms and torrential rains of last winter.
The result is a four-part series chronicling the tireless work that goes into dealing with everything from life and death situations to collecting bizarre items of litter, all against a backdrop of safely delivering millions of pounds of investment in England’s strategic road network.
Chief executive of the Highways Agency, Graham Dalton said: "Motorways are loved and often, to be fair, loathed by drivers throughout the country, but the nation and the economy couldn’t survive without them.
"I think it’s important for us to show just how taxpayers’ money is spent on the strategic road network and at the same time answer all those burning questions drivers have about what happens on motorways like the M6, which play a major role in all our lives."
While ‘The Motorway: Life in the Fast Lane’ focuses on the work of the Agency on the M6, primarily in the Midlands, many of the scenarios are common to every motorway in the country.
Executive Producer, Spencer Kelly of The Garden Productions, who spent last winter embedded with traffic officer crews working out of the West Midlands Regional Control Centre, said: "The series offers a unique and compelling insight into the multiple agencies and organisations that work to keep the M6 and surrounding motorways in the West Midlands safe and running 365 days a year whatever the weather.
"From the work of the traffic officers on the road responding to incidents and extreme weather events, to the crews working the graveyard shifts repairing the roads, the series aims to shine a light on this often hidden work force that we only ever glimpse behind the traffic cones and reveal just what it takes to manage one of Britain’s busiest motorway networks.
The first episode Weight of Traffic highlight what goes into maintaining the M6, from workers negotiating live lanes of fast moving traffic, to crews toiling through the night to replace the road surface – and how this affects local residents.