Crash crews to cut traffic delays

FIRST ON 7: As drivers head out of Sydney for the holidays, they're being assured the infamous accident delays on the F3 are a thing of the past.

Crash crews are keeping a close eye on the freeway, ready to rapidly respond to trouble.

Accidents on the freeway used to cause major snarls, stranding travellers for hours. It was this kind of chaos that lead to the F3 field response unit being set up.

Even the Premier Barry O'Farrell was affected, on Election Day he was forced to catch a train instead.

"Everybody hates delays on this road. it's happened to every motorist at some stage," the Premier said.

"It costs tradies dollar. It frustrates business and it can ruin holidays."

It's the job of the response unit to quickly clear incidents, and keep everyone else moving.

Steve McGrath from the F3 Field Response Unit says that coming up to the Christmas break his team see an increase in breakdowns, where people haven't serviced their vehicles or trailers.

"They certainly seem appreciative of the effort we go to relocate them, to give them some water and refreshment - it eases their mind," McGrath said.

His crew tends to almost 400 incidents a month, that's more than 13 a day. Since the unit was introduced clearance times for bingles and breakdowns have been slashed by 30 per cent, saving drivers an average of 10 minutes per incident.

"It's important to reduce the delays and the frustrations that that causes, because that frustration sometimes results in more riskier behaviour and more accidents," Premier Barry O'Farrell said.

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