National Highways is lifting more than 1,400 miles of roadworks this Easter Bank Holiday to help motorists enjoy smoother journeys.
More than 98 per cent of England’s motorway and major A road network will be free from roadworks over the holiday period.
The roadworks will be removed from England’s major A-road and motorway network by 6am on Thursday 6 April and not put back in place until Tuesday 11 April.
Drivers are also being reminded to leave plenty of space when overtaking HGVs and to make sure their vehicle is roadworthy.
According to a recent survey commissioned by the organisation responsible for managing England’s major A-road and motorway network, more than a third of motorists were unaware of number of HGV blind spots.
Car and van drivers can underestimate limitations HGV drivers face in seeing passing vehicles.
While nearly three quarters of people surveyed said they take extra care when overtaking a HGV, 36 per cent said they did not know how many blind spots a HGV had.
Thirty-six per cent also admitted feeling nervous when passing trucks.
Dave Harford, Traffic Officer for National Highways, who patrols the M5, M42, M50 and other major routes said: “This is the first bank holiday of the year, so we expect the roads to be busy with people looking to make the most of a long weekend.
“This bank holiday it’s really important that motorists remember how to overtake HGVs safely. We all have a role to play in helping to keep each other safe and that’s why we’re calling on motorists to familiarise themselves with blind spots on lorries.
“Our advice to motorists overtaking a HGV is simple; avoid tailgating the HGV when considering an overtaking manoeuvre and as the Highway Code states, do so quickly and safely to avoid staying in an area of limited visibility.”
National Highways is also reminding motorists; check tyre pressures, tread depth and tyre age including the spare, before setting off.
Dave added: “Although the legal limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, we recommend you don’t let the tread get that low. Changing the tyre at 2mm in summer and 3 mm in winter is good practice and maintains overall good tyre performance in all conditions. Look out for cuts or wear over the full width of the tyre and don’t forget to check the sidewall. To check your tyre pressure, visit most fuel and service station forecourts, which have an air machine for checking and inflating your tyre pressure.”
If you are stopped by the police and found with illegal tyres, you could receive a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.
Things to consider are:
Tyres: Ensure tyre pressures are suitable for the load and check the condition of tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear across the whole tyre including sidewall.
Engine oil: Check oil levels regularly and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
Water: Always keep your screen wash topped up with a good ratio of water and screen wash to maximise the cleaning efficiency so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen easily.
Lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, your vehicle may fail its MoT.
Fuel: Before setting out make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. Running out of fuel can put you, your family and other road users at risk unnecessarily.
If you experience problems with your vehicle and you can’t leave the motorway you should always try to go left - to an emergency area, a hard shoulder, motorway services or slip road hard shoulder.
But if that is not possible and you have stopped in a live lane or feel your life is in danger you must stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt and hazard lights on and call 999 immediately.
People heading to France using the Kent ports are advised to plan ahead and leave extra time for their journey. The Port of Dover and Eurotunnel are expected to be busy throughout Easter, and people are also urged to check with their operator before they travel.
Drivers should also take a few minutes to plan their journeys in advance. Live updates on traffic flow can be found at http://www.trafficengland.com/.