The Department for Transport has asked Highways England to look into the possibility of shortening roadworks on major roads in England, it has been revealed.
The DfT said a move to reduce the length of road improvements would minimize disruptions to drivers’ journeys.
Currently, the longest stretch of roadworks in the UK stands at 18.1 miles in length, between junctions 28 and 31 on the M1. There is also a 15.5 mile-long set of roadworks on the M3, between junction 2 and Fleet Services, traffic information provider Inrix said.
The Government previously announced it would spend £15bn on improving roads by 2021, including adding more than 1300 miles of road by 2020.
A limit of two mile-long roadworks has been suggested in the media, but neither Highways England or a DfT spokesman could confirm the accuracy of the reports.
Both spokesmen insisted that the plans are at a very early stage and mileage limits have not been set yet.
“We want to provide a better, safer experience for road users on England’s motorways and major A roads, including throughout roadworks where major upgrades are being carried out,” the Highways England spokesman told BusinesCar. “We are committed to minimising disruption from roadworks even further and are exploring managing work in different ways while ensuring good value for money for the public.”
The Freight Transport Association welcomed the news, saying it costs up to a pound for every minute large vehicles are stuck in traffic.
“Nose-to-tail shunts are more prevalent in queues of slow moving traffic too, so hopefully this will also cut the number of accidents in roadworks,” said Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s head of road network management.
“Our Road Investment Strategy will deliver the biggest upgrade to Britain’s roads in a generation and secure our transport network for the long-term,” the DfT spokesman told BusinessCar. “But as it is delivered we’ve got to respect the drivers who use our roads every day. That means taking common sense decisions to minimise frustrations wherever possible.