Fuel for thought as motorists head off on Easter getaway

Highways England is lifting more than 300 miles of roadworks this Easter

Motorists urged to check their vehicles before setting off

Drivers in the North West are being encouraged to fill up before setting off for their Easter holidays after the latest figures revealed that 108 people run out of fuel in the region every month. 

Highways England is reminding drivers to check their vehicles ahead of long journeys after statistics showed that almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems which could be avoided with simple checks.

Nearly a quarter of breakdowns are caused by tyre problems and in the North West almost 1,300 breakdowns in 2015 were due to lack of fuel.

Highways England is lifting more than 300 miles of roadworks to improve journeys for millions of people travelling this Easter holiday.

Traffic officers and project teams will also be at Sandbach Services from Monday 10 April, Lymm Services from Tuesday 18 April and Keele Services from Monday 24 April to provide tips to drivers to avoid breakdowns.

Almost 98 per cent of motorways and major A roads will be roadworks-free over the bank holiday, meaning motorists and their passengers can enjoy journeys with as little disruption as possible.

Key schemes completed in the North West in time for the Easter getaway include:

  • A556 – the £192m Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway linking junction 19 of the M6 to junction 7 of the M56
  • A590 – a £1 million project to realign and raise the carriageway at Lindal near Ulverston, removing the long-running Lindal ‘dip’ issue which led to carriageway closures during flooding

Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan said:

“I want all drivers to arrive at their destinations safely. We are removing almost all of our roadworks across the country to make people’s journeys easier this Easter, and we are urging drivers to make sure they are ready by checking their fuel, tyres, and lights.

“Anyone who runs out of fuel is putting themselves and other road users, including their own passengers at risk. With a few simple checks, that risk can be overcome and everyone will be safer.”

The government is investing £15 billion to improve England’s motorways and major A roads – known as the strategic road network. The improvements will keep traffic moving even in the busiest periods, cutting congestion – and Highways England is taking action to reduce delays over the bank holiday break.


And before they set off drivers are being urged to:

  • Check fuel: Make sure you have enough to get to your destination.
  • Check tyres: Prior to setting off on a long/significant journey, check your tyre pressure and the condition of your tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit.
  • Check engine oil: Use your dipstick to check oil before any long journey, and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
  • Check water: To ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screenwash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen.
  • Check your lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MOT.


Click here to see a map showing the locations of lifted and completed schemes.


By suspending or completing roadworks, more lanes will be open and many speed restrictions will be lifted.

Those wishing to find out more about driving on smart motorways can head online to: www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-drive-on-a-smart-motorway for further information. 

Drivers planning to use the Dartford Crossing near London are reminded to pay Dart Charge in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.

More information can be found on at Highways’ England’s website or by calling 0300 123 5000.

For more detailed information on how to carry out your vehicle checks, search Think!

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