A new Incident Response Service will help clear vehicles involved in crashes or breakdowns in the Northbridge tunnel.

Launching the new service this morning, Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the unit would operate in a similar way to those used elsewhere in Australia.

"Work crews will patrol the Graham Farmer Freeway between Loftus Street and the Swan River, responding to incidents that affect traffic flows from Monday to Friday between 6am-6pm," Mr Buswell said. "This service will help clear vehicles involved in crashes or breakdowns in the tunnel and relocate them to a safe area. The idea is to make sure traffic flows can be returned to normal as quickly as possible to reduce congestion during peak times.

"The critical message is that motorists and passengers must stay in their cars for their own safety, and telephone 13 ROAD (13 7623) for help.

"Travel times should be made more reliable for all road users as this service will minimise disruption caused by breakdowns or crashes in the tunnel."

The front of the IRS vehicle has a soft foam 'push pad', which shapes itself to the design of the affected car before moving it to a safe location away from traffic. Road users who have their vehicles relocated will be advised by the IRS operator as to what they need to do to successfully move their car.

"This service will be expanded into a second stage which will look at vehicles covering the Perth CBD road network and Mitchell and Kwinana freeways from Reid to Roe highways," the Minister said.

The service will not replace RAC or other road assistance networks.

The West Australian

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