Highways England to test frustration-free roadworks

Published on 8 August 2018 by Matt Colley

Reacting to feedback from exasperated road-users, Highways England has announced that it is exploring ways to test improved roadworks to reduce frustration.

After earlier trials were successful, different speed limits are to be tested over the next 12 months that could see the usual 50mph or lower limit near roadworks on motorways raised to a more generous 60mph if this would not mean an increase of risk to road users or road workers. 

Similarly, there are also plans to explore speed limits that are adjusted depending on days of the week, such as raising speed limits near roadworks on motorways on Sundays when no work is taking place.

The tests were announced as part of Highways England’s Delivery Plan Update for 2018/2019, which also includes plans to improve the supply of information to road users so can find out what’s happening in roadworks and traffic jams more easily, working on roads overnight to reduce disruption during daytime and setting a target to clear 85% or better of incidents within one hour to restore normal traffic flow sooner.

Commenting, Chief Executive of Highways England Jim O’Sullivan, said: “People understand roadworks are necessary, but are also frustrated by them.

“We are always thinking of new ways to improve journeys at the same time as keeping everyone as safe as we can. That is why, over the next 12 months, we will test changes to the design and operation of roadworks. We are also working hard to give drivers more and better information about their journeys and to prepare our network for the future – for example, the testing of roadside and vehicle technology – so we can continue to keep people, and the country, connected.”

We’ve all done our time caught up in sluggish patches of traffic because of roadworks or trapped in mile-long jams they’ve caused, so tell us your worst roadworks horror stories on our Facebook page.