Roadworks lifted on major routes ahead of bank holiday weekend


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The Independent Online

Roadworks will be suspended on a number of major routes as millions head off on the bank holiday weekend.

With traffic companies forecasting a busy getaway starting on Friday, the Highways Agency announced that 151 miles of roadworks in England will be suspended over the holiday period.

In addition, 328 miles of works will be completed before the weekend, but restrictions will remain in place at 25 locations.

Roadworks staying in place include those on the M1 near Leicester, on the M5 near Bristol and on a northern section of the M25 in Hertfordshire.

The suspensions will be from 6am on Friday until midnight on bank holiday Monday.

Highways Agency traffic management director Simon Sheldon-Wilson said: "This bank holiday weekend, over 98% of motorways and major A-roads in England will be clear of roadworks.

"This will be a great help to people travelling during the holiday - more lanes will be open and many speed restrictions will also be lifted.

"Our traffic officers and the police will work to clear up any incidents as soon as possible but we advise drivers to check weather and travel conditions before any long journey."

The Highways Agency said Friday evening and Monday afternoon were expected to be the busiest periods over the bank holiday weekend, especially on the main holiday routes, as people set out and return from short breaks or day trips.

Traffic information company Inrix said Friday was expected to be the busiest day, with south-east England taking the brunt of the traffic, with roads in the area likely to be up to 35% busier than normal.

The company said this was likely to add up to 25 minutes on to a 60-minute journey. Those coming home on bank holiday Monday were advised to leave before 10am.

Inrix said sections of the M25 would be the busiest areas for those returning on Monday, followed by the section of the M4 from Reading in Berkshire into London.

For those staying in the UK for the long weekend, the weather is expected to be wet and cool in the North and West, but warm and dry in the South.

"A band of showery rain is likely to move in from the west on Friday and spread to most parts, " said Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association.

He went on: "The South East is likely to escape the rain on Friday until late in the day and temperatures could get as high as 27C (81F).

"Top temperatures are likely to dip to 22C (72F) for the rest of the bank holiday weekend, with the South East generally staying dry and other areas getting showers or longer periods of rain at times."