DRIVERS across the North West will share in the festive cheer this Christmas and New Year with almost 400 miles of Highways England roadworks across the country lifted to help journeys go smoothly.
148 schemes are targeted to be lifted by 6am on Wednesday, 23 December by Highways England, leaving 98 per cent of its roadways free from roadworks prior to Christmas.
Regarding the reopening of the roads, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin 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. This move will allow hardworking people to travel around freely at Christmas time and see friends and family.”
Driving home for Christmas: A map of the roadwork schemes that are currently completed (green) and are set to be lifted for Christmas (amber)
Highways England Director of Customer Operations, Melanie Clarke, told Quays News: “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.
“Drivers can do their bit to make their festive journeys run smoothly by planning longer journeys ahead of time and checking weather and travel conditions before setting out.
“It’s also worth packing an emergency winter kit in your boot, before making any seasonal journeys this Christmas. Make sure you’ve got de-icer, an ice-scraper, warm clothes, boots and a torch, in case your vehicle breaks down.”
To help drivers, Highways England will complete 273 miles of roadworks at 105 locations before the holiday. A further 43 sets of roadworks and lane restrictions will be removed across 128 miles of carriageway by 6am on Wednesday 23 December, until midnight on Saturday 2 January.
Work in progress: The current schemes that won’t be completed in time for Christmas.
In total, there are fewer roadworks on England’s major roads this Christmas – with 192 schemes compared to 219 this time last year.
GALLERY: The main schemes that are unable to be lifted around Manchester in time for Christmas