Most routes to be cleared of roadworks for Christmas

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THE MAJORITY of roads across England should be free from roadworks just in time for the great Christmas getaway, the Transport Secretary has pledged.

Highways England aims to lift around 400 miles of roadworks by 6am on Wednesday, December 23, meaning most of the road network should be clear for the millions of families travelling by car for the holidays.

The yearly open road scheme, which will see 148 projects either paused or completed, means 98 per cent of routes should be free from delay-inducing improvement works.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the hope is that “hardworking people (can) travel around freely at Christmas time and see friends and family”.

He said: “We are on the side of the honest motorist, making it easier for people to get around, as well as creating jobs and opportunities.

“It’s impossible to improve roads without some element of engineering work, but I also know how frustrating they can be.

“We are determined to apply common sense to our roads so we can minimise disruption.

“Clearing roadworks over Christmas is a big win for motorists.

“Over the period millions of families will get in the car to visit loved ones.”

There are around 17 per cent fewer active roadworks schemes this Christmas compared with last year.

Highways England are set to complete 273 miles of roadworks at 106 locations and will lift restrictions on 39 sets of works across 121 miles of carriageway by 6am on December 23.

The break will last through the festive period and into the new year, although works are set to resume at midnight on January 2.

Director of customer operations Melanie Clarke said: “This Christmas, we’re clearing roadworks across the majority of motorways and major A-roads in England to help people make important journeys to see family and friends.

“Where possible, we’ve completed or lifted roadworks, leaving more lanes open and lifting many of the associated speed restrictions to help people travelling over the festive period.”

The latest travel information can be found at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic.