England’s highways are set to be virtually roadworks-free this Christmas after Highways England confirmed that it would remove the majority of roadworks in time for the festive period.
The roads regulator for England confirmed that more than 650 km of roadworks would be completed or temporarily halted by 23 December, clearing the roads for users before and after Christmas.
Work will cease on 148 schemes across the UK, leaving 98 per cent of the 15,343 km network of highways and major A roads free of work.
Highways England aims to lift all roadworks by 6am on 23 December, with work expected to resume on 2 January 2016 at 6am.
Of these projects, Highways England is set to complete 439 km of roadworks at 106 locations two days ahead of Christmas Day.
There will be 17 per cent fewer active road schemes this Christmas compared with the same period last year.
Highways England 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.”
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “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.”