Ministers Want Work to Be Limited to Short Bursts to Cut Congestion
The Government plans to limit the length of roadworks on motorways and major a-roads to two miles to minimise congestion, The Times reports.Workers might be permitted to extend to five miles in extreme cases.
This initiative follows concern that some of the current schemes have an excessive impact on motorists. The consequence is delay, loss of productivity and frustration.
Inrix – a company that provides traffic data – confirmed that the longest stretch is on the M1 between junction twenty-eight and thirty-one which is a full 18.1 miles long. This is followed by the M3 from junction two to Fleet Services (fifteen miles); and the M1 from sixteen to nineteen (thirteen miles).
Motorists Favour Longer Works
An Automobile Association (AA) survey suggests that motorists prefer to “endure extensive roadworks” if it gets the job done quicker. Members says this is preferable than “stringing it out in two mile stretches” over a longer period”. Fifty-one percent argue that work should be limited to stretches of ten miles, however.
AA President, Edmund King, says: “members are concerned that if the stretches of roadworks are to short it would simply lead to two sets of work at different times - not one”.
He concluded they are also frustrated by: “Working practices which see many works sites inactive during the day but with long lengths of lower speed limits.”
UK Road Enhancement Schemes
The Government is committed to a wide range of road improvement schemes in the short to medium term. On December 1st 2014, it confirmed plans for the: “Biggest upgrade to roads in a generation” paid for by a fifteen billion pound investment.
Finance is earmarked for more than one hundred schemes including thirteen hundred miles of new lanes for motorways and trunk roads. Furthermore, some routes are evolving into smart motorways whereby drivers can use the hard shoulder at certain times.
The Government's objective is to cut congestion by improving: “Some of the most notorious and long standing problem areas on the network”.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain’s economic potential.”
He continued: “Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity (and) for to long they have suffered from under-investment. This Government has a long term plan to secure the country’s future and this fifteen billion pound roads programme is demonstration of that. Better roads allow us to travel freely, creating jobs and opportunities, benefiting hard working families”.