Roadworks lifted ahead of bank holiday traffic

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Highways England will remove the ‘majority’ of motorway roadworks over the busy bank holiday period.

UPDATE: The bank holiday rail strike has now been cancelled as of 21 May.

According to the government department responsible for the management of the UK’s road ways, almost 400 miles of motorway and A-road roadworks will be removed or suspended from 6am on Friday 22 May.

While this is a normal bank holiday process, Highways England will be extending the period until 6am on Thursday 28 May, as opposed to the usual Tuesday resumption.

The reason for the extended grace period is a number of announced industrial actions that will affect rail passengers across the UK over the long weekend.

RMT, the largest rail union, has called strike action starting from 5pm on Monday 25 May with two other unions also set to join the strike action which will last for 24 hours.

While the move is bad news for rail passengers, it could be the same for road users if rail passengers take to the road, despite Highways England’s decision to lengthen the roadwork embargo.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Highways England, said: “Motorways and major routes are likely to be even busier than usual if the planned industrial action goes ahead as travellers switch from rail to roads. We anticipate that customers may start noticing a difference in traffic during Friday afternoon and evening, when there could be extra journeys on our roads as the result of the planned rail action.”

What does it mean?

On the M6, roadworks near Stoke and Birmingham have been completed or paused while delays on the M1 near Derby and Hemel Hempstead have also been pushed through ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Resurfacing works near the Dartford crossing have been paused, as have structural roadworks on the M4 south of London.

Perhaps the most relieved travellers will be those heading in and out of Brighton on the M23 near Crawley where 24 miles of roadworks have been stalled or completed.

You can view a map of paused or completed bank holiday roadworks via the link.

Where do roadworks remain?

Despite the attempts to cleanup the UK’s major motorways and A-roads, a number of issues will still remain on busy holiday routes.

The M6 will remain plagued by average speed limit zones around Birmingham and Knutsford, while the M1 near Wakefield will also keep its 50mph zone.

You can see a full map of the UK’s remaining bank holiday roadworks here.

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