Press release

Highways England gearing up for CarFest fun

Highways England is gearing up to support this year’s CarFest South event as drivers are urged to check their vehicle is ready for the road.

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Traffic officers will be at the three-day event next week, organised by BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans in aid of Children in Need, to run a kids’ driving school.

Motorists heading off on long journeys and holidays this summer are being urged to make sure their vehicles are ready for the road in a bid to cut the number of breakdowns.

And Highways England will be challenging both children and their parents at CarFest South to learn what vehicle checks need to be completed before they go on long journeys, to keep them safe.

Highways England chief highways engineer, Mike Wilson, said:

We’re delighted to be supporting the kids’ driving school at this year’s CarFest South event.

It will be a great opportunity for families to meet our traffic officers who provide vital support to the travelling public, keeping our network moving and our customers safe.

We’re also asking motorists heading off on holiday this summer to get their vehicles ready for the road in a bid to cut the number of breakdowns by undertaking a few simple checks focusing on tyres, fuel, water and engine oil.

CarFest South takes place at Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire from 25th to 27th August. The brainchild of Chris Evans, it combines cars, food, live music and family entertainment and, in the last five years, the annual events have raised £7.4 million for BBC Children in Need.

Highways England has produced five short instructional videos on how to check tyre pressure, tyre tread, oil and water levels and lights to help prevent needless breakdowns and cut the unnecessary delays they cause.

Almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems which could be avoided with simple checks and nearly a quarter are caused by tyre problems.

Meanwhile, around 22 motorists broke down each day during July and August last year because they had run out of fuel.

The videos cover:

  • checking tyres - prior to setting off on a long/significant journey, check your tyre pressure and the condition of your tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit
  • checking engine oil - use your dipstick to check oil before any long journey, and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual
  • checking water - to ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen
  • checking lights - if your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MOT
  • checking fuel - before setting out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to get to your destination.

For more detailed information on how to carry out your vehicle checks, visit the Think campaign page.

Those wishing to find out more about driving on smart motorways can head to guidance on GOV.UK.

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 18 August 2017