By Marcus Leach
The Highways Agency is set to help people travelling during this year’s festive holiday period, with plans in place to complete more than 500 miles of roadworks on England’s motorways and major A roads next week.
A further 60 miles will be suspended between 23 December 2011 and 3 January 2012.
In all, 118 sets of roadworks are due to be completed ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday period. A further 19 sets of roadworks and lane restrictions are due to be removed by 06:00 on Friday 23 December and will not be put back before 00:01 on Tuesday 3 January.
Lane restrictions or temporary speed limits will need to remain in place at 26 locations for the safety of drivers and their passengers, including on the M1 near Luton and on the M25 where important widening work will continue over the holiday period.
"Christmas is one of the busiest times on our roads and that's why we will be completing or lifting roadworks wherever possible to help people get back to see their families and loved ones," Transport secretary Justine Greening said.
“More than 98 percent of the strategic road network will be roadworks free, meaning that more lanes will be open and many speed restrictions lifted.
"The Highways Agency is well prepared for winter, but experience from recent years shows that we must all play our part. I'd urge all drivers to make time for winter and visit the Highways Agency's website, where there are lots of tips to help keep winter journeys safe and trouble free."
The Agency will continue to offer a range of traffic information services to help road users plan their seasonal journeys and its Traffic Officers will be on patrol throughout the holiday period, to help clear up any incidents as quickly as possible. In addition, a few very simple steps taken now can reduce the risk of being caught out by the weather. Check your vehicle before you set out; take a severe weather emergency kit with you; check traffic and weather conditions and always plan your journey.
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