Drivers around Swindon will be more familiar with traffic cones than they’d like to be this spring and summer.

It seems the safety barriers have sprouted up on every main route around the borough as major roadworks projects have started and some never seem to reach their finish.

A new truck being trialled by the department of transport should at least make the putting down of cones, especially on fast roads like the A419 safer for the workers and drivers and it will also free up workforce to allow them to get on with the works faster.

The truck being tested drives along and a machine lays a cone on the road surface on its side using a revolving drum, and as the lorry progresses slowly, the cone enters a frame with brush roller at the end which catches the base of the cone and simply flips it upright without a human being having to get close to speeding cars.

It’s a very elegant solution to the issue of having to lay hundreds of cones along a stretch of road.

Swindon Advertiser:

Highways England’s Martin Bolt, who leads the project, said of the lorry developed by King Highway Products in a joint project with the agency and  construction firm Kier, said: “The King vehicle is very innovative and quite something to see in action. The off-road tests have been extremely promising so far and we are looking forward to taking this forward.

“At Highways England, we are always looking for ways to improve safety and so we were very keen to do what we could to support the testing of these automated machines which will not only reduce the potential risk to road workers but also take away a physically demanding and laborious task.

“To watch these two vehicles develop from concept, to prototype, testing and ultimately being used on our roads is incredibly rewarding and we are looking forward to both being routinely used for roadworks on our network.”