Press release

Overnight working is a way of life

As the clocks goes back and the evenings draw in, drivers across the South West are asked to spare a thought for the army of night time road workers delivering Highways England’s record £2 billion investment in the region.

This unseen army work tirelessly on the motorway and major A road network, while the rest of sleep.

To minimise disruption to road users we carry out around two thirds of our work overnight when our roads are at their quietest,” said Highways England’s South West service delivery manager, Dave Sledge.

Every night we have dozens of road workers out on the motorway and major A roads network across the South West, in all kinds of weather helping to keep the region’s economy on the move by carrying out repairs and improvements when most people are tucked up in bed.

Our overnight workers and subcontractors regularly face everything from wind and rain to abuse from road users, while they repair barriers, install new gantries and signs and carry out resurfacing. They also carry out many other essential tasks, often to tight deadlines and working close to fast moving traffic.

The ‘while you were asleep’ message comes as a record amount of funding is being targeted at delivering extra road capacity and extra maintenance to provide more reliable journeys – with 80 percent of the strategic road network due to be resurfaced by the end of 2020.

On the front line, Highways England road workers often work to tight deadlines and work close to fast moving traffic in the dark.

Amongst the night time work currently being carried out in this area is:

  • resurfacing on the A4 at St. Andrews and St Brendans Roundabouts in Avonmouth, repairs to Winterbourne Lane underbridge on the M4.

  • bridge deck repairs at M4 J19-20 Winterbourne Lane Underbridge between Junctions 19 and 20 of the M4.

  • two bridge joint replacement schemes at Sowton M5 J29 and Andygate, M5 J30. These schemes are being run together, so traffic management can be utilised for both schemes, minimising disruption to drivers.

Our commitment to night working doesn’t end with roadworks. Our customer contact centre is staffed around the clock – so anyone can call to get the latest information on their journey, at any time.

Our traffic officers patrol motorways in the South West through the day and night – and are there to help deal with incidents and keep traffic moving, and our regional control centre, based in Avonmouth, has staff glued to CCTV screens 24/7, helping to monitor traffic and manage incidents, including Christmas and New Year’s Day.

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.