Drivers gear up for festive cheer this Christmas and New Year with almost 400 miles of Highways England roadworks lifted.
Highways England aims to complete or lift 148 schemes by 6am Wednesday 23 December – leaving 98% of its 9,534-mile network free of roadworks in time for the holidays.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
We are on the side of the honest motorist, making it easier for people to get around, as well as creating jobs and opportunities.
It’s impossible to improve roads without some element of engineering work, but I also know how frustrating they can be. We are determined to apply common sense to our roads so we can minimise disruption.
Clearing roadworks over Christmas is a big win for motorists. Over the period millions of families will get in the car to visit loved ones. This move will allow hardworking people to travel around freely at Christmas time and see friends and family.
Highways England Director of Customer Operations, Melanie Clarke, said:
This Christmas, we’re clearing roadworks across the majority of motorways and major A-roads in England to help people make important journeys to see family and friends.
Where possible, we’ve completed or lifted roadworks, leaving more lanes open and lifting many of the associated speed restrictions to help people travelling over the festive period.
Drivers can do their bit to make their festive journeys run smoothly by planning longer journeys ahead of time and checking weather and travel conditions before setting out.
It’s also worth packing an emergency winter kit in your boot, before making any seasonal journeys this Christmas. Make sure you’ve got de-icer, an ice-scraper, warm clothes, boots and a torch, in case your vehicle breaks down.
To help drivers, Highways England will complete 273 miles of roadworks at 105 locations before the holiday. A further 43 sets of roadworks and lane restrictions will be removed across 128 miles of carriageway by 6am on Wednesday 23 December, until midnight on Saturday 2 January.
There are fewer roadworks on England’s major roads this Christmas – with 192 schemes compared to 219 this time last year.
Drivers need to plan and allow sufficient time for their journeys. For the safety of drivers and their passengers, lane restrictions or temporary speed limits will need to remain at 43 locations. Around 196 miles of roadworks will need to stay out over the festive period this year, compared to 268 last year.