Roadworks wound up for Bank Holiday

Motorists will benefit from the suspension, or completion, of a number of roadworks over the bank holiday weekend, it was announced today.

Around 365 miles of roadworks on England's motorways and major trunk roads will be completed this week and a further 95 miles of works will be suspended, the Highways Agency said.

A total of 111 works will be finished in time for the holiday weekend, while 23 sets of works will be suspended.

But restrictions will remain in place at 22 locations, including those on a stretch of the M1 near Luton in Bedfordshire and works on parts of the M25.

Roads Minister Mike Penning said: "The main holiday routes have been busy throughout the school holidays and the Highways Agency has worked hard to keep these flowing - as well as providing live traffic updates from its control centres.

"For the bank holiday weekend, we are completing or lifting roadworks to provide extra lane capacity and help even further. A total of 99% of motorways and trunk roads in England will be clear of roadworks, meaning more lanes will be open and many speed restrictions lifted."

The RAC has predicted that roads this year will be quieter than previous August bank holidays.

It added that expected traffic would build up during the day on Friday with an extended rush hour until late evening as people looked to get a head start.

Traffic volumes would be greater on bank holiday Monday evening and Tuesday morning, when compared to a normal day, as holiday makers head home or back to work.

Kevin Andrews, RAC patrol ambassador of the year, said: "Whatever the weather, August bank holiday is always one of the busiest of the year but the current high fuel prices are changing people's driving habits and could lead to less congestion than in recent years.

"However, traffic around theme parks and other events, including the many music festivals, will impact on local traffic volumes and I would advise drivers to check their routes in advance of the journey to avoid getting caught up in slow-moving traffic."

Events over the bank holiday weekend include the Reading Festival in Berkshire, the Leeds music festival and the Notting Hill Carnival in west London.

Train travellers will have to put up with engineering work over the weekend, with buses replacing trains on some routes.

There will be 3,428 buses running over the holiday weekend compared with 3,339 last August bank holiday.

But Network Rail (NR) said 3.5% more trains would be running over this August bank holiday than operated over the same period in 2010.

NR also said that only 4.8% fewer trains would be running over the bank holiday weekend than on a typical Saturday, Sunday and Monday.