The Motorway: Yorkshire traffic control officers to feature in new Channel 5 documentary

Channel 5 has visited Yorkshire once again for its latest documentary - this time about National Highways.

Filming crews have been following traffic officers and control room operators to see how they keep Yorkshire's major roads running smoothly.

Among the Yorkshire folk featured in the latest documentary - which starts on Monday (May 9) are traffic officers Andy Binns, Mark Meadows and Ally Maitland-Titterton, and control room team manager Russ Asquith.

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The Motorway, which is now into its second series, was produced by Fearless Television, who spent three months filming across Yorkshire and the North West, focusing mainly on the M62 and its adjoining motorways.

Andy Binns (left) and Mark Meadows have been working together for more than five years. Credit: Channel 5/Fearless Television

Bosses at Channel 5 have spoken about how they have focused on Yorkshire as an area viewers are interested in, and has produced shows such as The Yorkshire Vet, Our Yorkshire Farm and All Creatures Great and Small.

Andy Binns and Mark Meadows have been working together for five years, and are based just off the A1(M) in South Yorkshire.

Mr Binns, who had worked in the haulage industry before becoming a traffic officer 15 years ago, said: "It was a great experience to take part in the new series and to show how we respond when our customers need us.

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Ally Maitland-Titterton can be seen in the new series in both his roles with National Highways – a Traffic Officer and Regional Operations Centre Operator . Credit: National Highways

"I hope it gives people watching at home a good understanding of the work we do, the challenges we face, the people we meet and how we go the extra mile to make sure they get home safe.”

Meanwhile, Mr Maitland-Titterton is one of the youngest traffic officers in the country aged just 24, and so is his colleague and friend Olly Langley, who is just 23. The pair can be seen managing incidents and helping road users who have got into difficulty on the show.

He said: “It’s been fun. I really enjoyed the chance to work along with the camera crew. I got to work alongside one of my best friends as well.” 

Before joining National Highways four years ago, he had worked for BMW as well as working in a textile mill.  

Russ Asquith, Team Manager at National Highways’ regional operation centre in Wakefield. Credit: National Highways

He said: “I was interested in the job at National Highways as I loved working with vehicles. After joining I realised I genuinely enjoyed helping people.  

“I love my job. If somebody’s car has broken down on the motorway and they’re stuck, not knowing what to do, often all it takes is somebody coming along with a smile and support to get them home safely.” 

Team manager Russ Asquith works out of National Highways' regional operations centre in Wakefield.

He added: "The camera crew filmed us around the clock, dealing with everything from run-of-the-mill incidents such as breakdowns to more complex issues that needed all hands on deck to resolve them. 

“It was an exciting thing to be part of. There can be misconceptions about we do and this was a good chance to show the work traffic officers and control centre operators carry out.

“No two days are ever the same. In a geographical area covering the borders of Scotland to South Yorkshire, you could be dealing with many different incidents in a day and you are always looking for the best ways to reach people on our motorways to help them. You never have time to be bored.” 

National Highways customer service director Mel Clarke said: "The new series of The Motorway shines a light on the sterling work that goes on around the clock to keep the strategic road network running. It shows the complexities of the incidents we deal with on an everyday basis and the challenges we face in keeping our customers on the move. 

“We hope people enjoy watching the eight new episodes and get an appreciation of just what goes into the day to day running of our motorways.” 

Executive producer for Fearless Television Amanda Murray added: “It was great to get back on the road with National Highways and spend time with the brilliant staff that work such a busy bit of the network, across northern England.  

“The series is driven by great characters and great stories and we weren’t short of either. We hope the programmes offer a meaningful and insightful look at the vital work that goes into keeping our motorways moving.   

“We follow as patrol and control room staff deal with everything from high-speed collisions in treacherous weather and cars ablaze – to handling cows on the run and filling potholes in record time.    

“It’s the indefatigable efforts of this often-unseen workforce that take us into a world of the motorways that most of us know little about - and hopefully makes for an engaging, heart-warming and entertaining series.” 

The Motorway can be seen on Channel 5 every Monday from May 9 at 8pm and is also available on My5.