Robots are being used to cut working hours on A14 upgrade

Robots being used to paint white lines on A14 at Huntingdon

Robots being used to paint white lines on A14 at Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

A robot is helping the Highways Agency to cut disruption on the A14.

The robotic white-line machine is being used to support work on the £1.5 billion rebuild of the A14 - Britain's biggest road upgrade scheme.

The device uses high-tech positioning technology to mark where white lines that need to be painted on the road surface, saving Highways England hundreds of hours of working time, contributing to safety for workers and helping to make journeys more straightforward for drivers.

The robot, which has been in use in the Huntingdon area, has been so successful that contractors have started using a second as well as a self-driving dumper truck during construction of the key section of road.

Work on the rebuilding and replacing a 21 mile stretch of the heavily-congested road started in November 2016 and the new Huntingdon bypass opened to traffic last month, a year ahead of schedule, the agency said.

Julian Lamb, construction director on the A14, said: "We're always looking at innovative new ways of working, which can help road users, and make our projects more efficient while supporting improved engineering.

"With safety our top priority, the time savings the robot can provide, coupled with removing our operatives from a potentially hazardous situation, make it a great solution."

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Mr Lamb added: "We've also been working with a self-driving dumper truck on the project, completing trials of these new technologies to help Highways England more deliver its ambitious programme of roads improvement quickly, safely and efficiently.

"These technologies are also supporting new jobs, with the engineers of tomorrow needing to learn new skills such as programming this autonomous equipment."