Press release

Stop for tea with emergency services at M6 event

Motorway safety is the theme at a free event at 17 M6 service stations on Thursday (11 August).

From 10am to 3pm, colleagues from local fire services, police forces, councils and TyreSafe are joining Highways England’s traffic officers to encourage drivers to Stop 4 T to check that their vehicles are safe to travel and to learn about the impacts of bad driving and poor vehicle maintenance.

Drivers and their families can join a range of activities, from examining the Think! crashed cars (at Lymm and Knutsford north services) and trying a driver simulator at Knutsford south services to see what can happen if the unexpected occurs when you are driving too fast. Vintage emergency services vehicles will also be available to explore at some locations. Visitors can help promote the safety messages by tweeting photos from selfie-boards and entering a free prize draw.

Stuart Lovatt, Safety Action Plan Team Leader at Highways England said:

Safety days are always popular with drivers and families, and they are a fantastic opportunity to check you’re doing everything you should be doing to get fit for travel.

Our motorways are the safest in the world, but only because we take safety so seriously. It’s a message we want to pass on to the drivers of today, and the drivers of tomorrow.

The Stop 4 T safety day is taking place alongside a national summer campaign urging drivers to ensure they’re totally prepared and know about the latest signs and signals they will see on England’s motorways.

With 46,000 breakdowns on England’s motorways and major A roads last summer, drivers are also being reminded what to do if they break down, including if that is on a section of ‘smart motorway’ where there is no hard shoulder.

The thousands of incidents include trailers and caravans incorrectly fitted, tyre blow outs and people not having enough fuel to complete their journeys.

Highways England is advising drivers of the resources on offer to help them arrive at their destinations safely, including advice about driving on smart motorways where signs and signals are used to help ease the flow of traffic to improve journeys.

The Stop 4 T events on the M6 on Thursday haves 6 themes:

T is for Tyres

TyreSafe will be on hand to offer advice at almost every service area on the M6. Checking your treads and pressures could save your life. Poorly-maintained tyres affect steering, braking and handling, and are more prone to blowouts – putting yourself, your passengers and other lives at risk.

T is for Tiredness

Tiredness can kill. Never drive tired and take regular breaks.

T is for Towing

Make sure your vehicle is heavy enough to safely tow your trailer. There is a legal limit. Fit additional mirrors when you are towing any trailer that is wider than your vehicle. Ensure the tow bar is clean and free of grease, that the doors and windows are secure and the aerial is safe.

T is for Two Second Rule

The two-second rule is a simple but effective way of making sure you keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Double it in wet conditions.

T is for Top Up your tank

Don’t leave it to chance. There’s no excuse for running out of fuel on the motorway. But it’s not just embarrassing. It could add hours to your journey and it’s dangerous too – both for you and the person who has to come out and refuel your vehicle.

Highways England Traffic Officer Mike Clarke said:

If you’re sitting in stationary traffic at roadworks, it’s easy to assume that it’s all down to the narrow lanes or the 50mph speed limit. In fact the delays are almost always caused by someone who has broken down in a live lane. Once we have a jam like this on our hands, the queues build at approximately a mile a minute. Please, please make sure you have fuel and a properly maintained vehicle before you join a motorway.

T is for Take Care around road works

Stick to the speed limit through road works. Cones and barriers are there for road workers’ and road users’ safety. Take care through roadworks.

The following service stations are taking part in the Stop 4 T event:

  • Corley - North and Southbound
  • Hilton Park Services - North and Southbound
  • Stafford Services - Northbound
  • Stafford Services - Southbound
  • Keele Services - North and South
  • Sandbach Services - North and South
  • Knutsford Services - North and South
  • Lymm Services
  • Charnock Richard Services - North and South
  • Lancaster (Forton) Services - North and South

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.