Highways England helping motorists over Easter period

Traffic officers

To help those miles flow as smoothly as possible, teams from Highways England are working around the clock to remove 459 miles of roadworks – meaning around 99 per cent of motorways and major A roads will be roadworks-free in time for Easter.

Highways England research shows almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems which could be avoided with simple checks and nearly a quarter are caused by tyre problems.

Highways England’s customer service director Melanie Clarke said:

We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible this Easter and that’s why we’re keeping around 99 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.

The motorway and major A-road network will be free of roadworks from 6am Thursday 18 April 2019 until 12.01am on Tuesday 23 April 2019.

Highways England traffic officers will be working around the clock to help people who get into difficulty.

Before they set off, Highways England is urging motorists to:

  • check fuel: make sure you have enough to get to your destination
  • check tyres: check your tyre pressure and the condition of your 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
  • check engine oil: use your dipstick to check oil before any long journey, and top up if needed – take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual
  • check water: to ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen
  • check your lights: if your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MOT.

Highways England is also reminding people to ensure that they have the correct licence and insurance to tow whatever the weight, make sure you have connected correctly, and always ensure your load is secure and within the limits for your vehicle before setting off.

A series of specialist videos can be found online to help people carry out basic vehicle checks before they set off on their travels.

Highways England is also urging drivers to stay safe this Easter by adhering to motorway signage, including the red X signals on smart motorways. Highways England close lanes for a reason and drivers ignoring red X signs put themselves and others at risk.

Find out more about driving on smart motorways.

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

More information can be found on our website or by calling our information line (0300 123 5000) where they can keep you up to date with conditions on the roads.

For more detailed information on how to carry out your vehicle checks, view the Think! page.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

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