Highways England removes roadworks for bank holiday and rail strike

Roadworks will be lifted from the vast majority of motorways and major roads across the country next weekend to help bank holiday travellers in light of the Network Rail strike.

Highways England said it always removes as many roadworks as possible at busy times.

Roadworks are usually reinstated on the Tuesday after the break, but this year, in light of recently announced industrial action affecting rail passengers, Highways England is not planning to reinstate roadworks until 6am on Thursday (May 28).

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In total, almost 400 lane-miles of roadworks on motorways and A roads will be removed or suspended by 6am on Friday (May 22).

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, director of Customer Operations at Highways England, said, “We are working with Network Rail and others to manage the impact of any industrial action on our customers.

“Motorways and major routes are likely to be even busier than usual if the planned industrial action goes ahead as travellers switch from rail to roads. We anticipate that customers may start noticing a difference in traffic during Friday afternoon and evening, when there could be extra journeys on our roads as the result of the planned rail action.

“During and immediately after the bank holiday we will be doing everything possible to manage traffic, such as removing temporary road works where practical. We’ll have extra traffic officer patrols and recovery vehicles on standby, and we’ll keep customers informed with real-time travel information online and via variable message signs.”

Highways England aims to complete or lift 155 sets of roadworks by May 22 – leaving 96.9 per cent of its 9,534 lane-miles free of roadworks. The embargo will run until May 28 to help drivers during the planned rail action.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson added, “If the planned industry action does go ahead next week, we strongly urge drivers to consider if their journeys are necessary, and if so to plan their journeys and check real-time travel information before setting out.”