Press release

400 miles of roadworks completed in time for Christmas holidays as drivers vote for Sir David Attenborough as dream passenger

448 miles of roadworks will be completed or lifted for the Christmas getaway.

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Highways England will complete or lift 448 miles of roadworks – leaving 98 per cent of its 9,534-mile network free of roadworks in time for the Christmas getaway.

Highways England is completing 407 and suspending 41miles of roadworks by 6am on Friday 23 December until Tuesday 3 January to help people get away this Christmas with as little disruption as possible.

The news comes as an online poll shows Sir David Attenborough, chef Gordon Ramsay and singer Kylie Minogue have all been chosen as the nation’s favourite passengers for festive car journeys.

The survey also shows that 50 per cent of drivers will be travelling more than 50 miles to visit friends and relatives at Christmas.

Key schemes which are being completed in time for Christmas include:

  • the £191 million improvement scheme at Catthorpe junction 19 of the M1 – which will revolutionise the journeys made by more than 142,000 vehicles through the area every day
  • work to upgrade 5.4 miles of the M1 between junction 34 for Meadowhall and Rotherham
  • junction 35a for the A616 Stocksbridge bypass in Sheffield
  • the Chain Bar junction where the M62 meets the M606 has been upgraded to include an additional lane.
  • the M25 £100 million junction upgrade where the motorway meets the A13 in Essex, near the Lakeside shopping centre and retail park, which has added vital extra capacity to the junction in time for the Christmas shop

You can view a map showing the locations of lifted and completed schemes

Highways England operations director, Nick Harris said:

This Christmas bank holiday, we’re helping drivers with their journeys by clearing roadworks on most of our motorways and major A-roads.

Our traffic officers will also be on patrol working to clear any incidents; the vast majority of which will be dealt with in under an hour.

We’re asking people to be prepared before setting off. Make sure you have everything you need for your journey should there be any delays, check before and during your journey and also make sure you’re aware of the signs and signals on motorways.

By suspending or completing roadworks, more lanes will be open and many speed restrictions will be lifted.

Those wishing to find out more about driving on smart motorways can head to our website for further information.

Drivers planning to use the Dartford Crossing are reminded to pay Dart Charge in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.

More information can be found on our website or by calling our information line (0300 123 5000) they can keep up to date with conditions on the roads.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 12 December 2016