Highways England geared up to help motorists this bank holiday

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 08:40
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More than 480 miles of roadworks will be lifted or completed on motorways and major A-roads to help families have smoother journeys over the August bank holiday.

Highways England will remove the roadworks by early Friday morning (August 23) to help people get away on bank holiday journeys with as little disruption from roadworks as possible.

Almost 97 per cent of England’s motorway and major A-roads, the strategic road network, will be free from roadworks over the August bank holiday period. To help motorists, Highways England is lifting 75 miles and completing 411 miles of roadworks.

Melanie Clarke, Highways England’s customer service director, said: “We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible and that’s why we’re keeping 97 per cent of the road network we manage, free from roadworks.

“Safety is our top priority and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before setting off over this period.”

Highways England traffic officers will also be on patrol and working with partners to help clear any incidents; the majority of which will be dealt with in under an hour.

And motorists are being reminded to do their bit to help keep traffic flowing by making sure they have everything they need for their journey by making sure they are aware of the signs and signals on motorways.

Highways England says simple checks are a way to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy. Things to consider are:

  • Tyres: Ensure tyre pressures are suitable for the load and check the condition of tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit
  • Engine oil: Check oil levels regularly and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual
  • Water: Always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen
  • Lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, your vehicle may fail its MoT
  • Fuel: Before setting out make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination

Tips for motorway driving:

  • Never drive in a lane closed by a red X. For details of what to do when you see a red X click here
  • Keep to the speed limits shown on the gantries or signs.
  • A hard shoulder is always identified by a solid white unbroken line – if there’s no speed limit displayed above it or a red X is displayed, do not use it except in emergency.
  • A broken white line indicates a normal running lane.
  • If the hard shoulder is being used as an extra lane, use the designated emergency areas for emergencies.
  • If your vehicle experiences difficulties, eg warning light, exit the motorway immediately, if you can safely do so.
  • Most breakdowns are preventable – keep your car well maintained, check your tyres and make sure you have enough fuel for your journey. Don’t stop except in an emergency. If you have to stop make sure you know what to do.

For more information about driving on motorways, visit: www.highwaysengland.co.uk/motorways

People travelling with caravans and trailers are also urged to check their vehicles before they take to the roads – especially their tyres, to ensure they are not worn or damaged – to help avoid a potential breakdown or incident and help keep traffic flowing.

The roadworks will be completed or suspended from 6am on Friday, August 23 until 12.01am on Tuesday, August 27. By suspending or completing roadworks, more lanes will be open and many of the associated speed restrictions will be lifted.

For the safety of drivers and their passengers, lane restrictions or temporary speed limits will need to remain at 35 locations.

Drivers planning to use the Dartford Crossing are reminded to pay Dart Charge in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.

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