Virtually all of England’s motorways and major A-roads will be free of roadworks over the Christmas period.
Road users travelling over the festive season will benefit from 98% of England’s strategic road network being clear of roadworks.
The Highways Agency will be helping people heading home for Christmas and New Year by keeping traffic moving over the holiday period, clearing more than eight out of 10 sets of roadworks.
Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Highways Agency traffic management director, said: “This means more lanes will be open and many speed restrictions will be lifted, helping everyone to travel more freely during the holiday.
“Highways Agency traffic officers will be visible on the motorways and winter teams are on standby to treat the roads if the forecast includes ice or snow, but we advise drivers to check weather and travel conditions before any long journey.”
A total of 300 miles of roadworks on England’s motorways and major A-roads will be completed by 23 December. A further 86 miles will be suspended between 23 December 2013 and 2 January 2014, providing extra lane capacity for holiday traffic.
In total, 104 sets of roadworks will be completed on the Highways Agency’s roads ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday. A further 47 sets of roadworks and lane restrictions are due to be removed by 6am on Monday 23 December 2013 and will not be put back before 12:01am on Thursday 2 January 2014..
The Highways Agency provides real-time traffic information for the motorways and other strategic roads in England using a range of channels, including the web, social media and through national and local radio stations.
The Agency is urging drivers to ‘Make Time for Winter’ by preparing themselves and their vehicles to help keep the roads running smoothly.
Drivers are being encouraged to take some simple steps during winter. These include:
• Check your vehicle – fuel and fluid levels, electrics and tyres – before setting out
• Be prepared with an emergency kit in your vehicle, including ice-scraper, de-icer, warm clothes and blankets, torch, boots, first aid kit, jump leads, a spade, a road atlas and sunglasses (for the winter glare)
• Plan your journeys. Check weather and travel conditions before and during your journey
• If the weather is very severe, consider whether your journey is essential or travel at a different time. In winter, the weather can change quickly so always be prepared for bad weather
• Remember that even when roads have been treated with salt, ice can still form, particularly on bends or under overhanging trees.