Frustration for Britain’s drivers facing 19,000 sets of roadworks

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Motorists are having to contend with around 19,000 sets of roadworks at present, it has been revealed.

These works stretch for 1,434 miles – almost twice the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats.

In the last five years there have been more than two million roadworks projects started on UK roads, with some councils having thousands of schemes on the go,

The figures came from data from more than 80 British local authorities obtained following a request under the Freedom of Information Act from breakdown company Britannia Rescue.

A survey by the company also showed that drivers were clocking up almost 240 miles a year in their efforts to bypass the roadworks.

Among councils with a high number of works in their area were East Riding of Yorkshire with 2,066, and Doncaster, with 1,815.

Councils with some of the longest stretches of roadworks in terms of miles were Slough in Berkshire (645 miles), Cumbria (217 miles) and Oxford (207 miles). The survey also showed that roadworks were adding 43 minutes a week on average to motorists’ journeys.

Over a third of the drivers questioned reported they had seen more road works in their area in the last year.

As many as 22 per cent said highway repairs had made the quality of the roads worse, with 61 per cent reckoning road quality in general was declining.

Also, 27 per cent said they had been caught up in roadworks of which there was no advance notice, with 10 per cent saying they had experienced road rage from a fellow motorist while stuck in roadworks.

Local transport Minister Norman Baker said he appreciated drivers’ frustration but said: “We have made it easier for councils to co-ordinate and manage roadworks and dramatically increased the charges for companies who do not finish work on time.

“We are also trialling new lane rental charges to incentivise firms to carry out works outside peak hours.”