‘Roadworks embargo’ to free up major roads this Christmas

‘Roadworks embargo’ to free up major roads this Christmas
The RAC has welcomed news that almost 99% of England’s motorway and major A-road network will be clear of roadworks in time for Christmas.

Highways England announced that an additional 400 miles of road among popular routes will be open during the most hectic period, easing journeys between December 22 and January 2.

In spite of the valuable “roadworks embargo”, the RAC is reminding drivers to plan their festive journeys carefully and try and avoid peak times where possible.

PLAN YOUR JOURNEY: RAC Route Planner

Highways England confirmed that more lanes will be open and many temporary speed restrictions will be lifted as a result of the suspension, or indeed completion, of several stretches of roadworks.

In total, 99% of carriageways will be open as millions of motorists take to the roads – with severe delays and motorway breakdowns still likely among popular routes reaching high capacity.

The worst of the traffic is expected on December 23 as leisure trips coincide with regular commuters on the last working day before Christmas.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said the news will be particularly welcomed by millions of shoppers and commuters in the festive run-up.

“With stress levels bound to increase as we get closer to the 25th, drivers can take some reassurance that at least roadworks shouldn’t be adding to their frustration,” he added.

“That’s not to say there won’t be hold ups on particularly busy parts of the road network though, so we strongly recommend drivers plan their journeys carefully and try and avoid peak times if they can.

“Those on the hunt for Christmas gifts are advised to stick to weekdays for their shopping wherever possible, to avoid the inevitable jams that are characteristic of the last few frantic weekends before Christmas.”

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More than 5,000 Highways England staff including traffic officers and control room personnel will be working to clear incidents and manage congestion over the festive season.

The embargo on roadworks will kick in from 6am on December 22 and last until 12.01am on January 2.

The organisation's customer service director, Melanie Clarke, said “Over the past two years we've already added 190 lane miles of much needed capacity and that will make life easier for those travelling around this month.”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.