Back of the net – Highways England helping football fans this weekend
It’s billed as one of the biggest sporting weekends in the football calendar – and Highways England is doing its bit to help those destined for Wembley Stadium
The English Football League play-offs always offer nerve-tingling excitement for supporters and drama aplenty with six teams featuring across three finals, each bidding to gain promotion.
The action begins on Saturday, May 25 when Newport County take on Tranmere Rovers in the League Two play-off final, while on Sunday, May 26 Charlton Athletic will be taking on Sunderland.
The action concludes on Monday, May 27 when Aston Villa and Derby County bid for a coveted place in the Premier League.
And with excitement levels at fever pitch, Highways England is doing its bit to help supporters enjoy hassle-free journeys, with some 700 miles of roadworks removed from England’s major A-road and motorway network.
Highways England’s customer service director, Melanie Clarke, said:
“We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible for those travelling and that’s why we’re keeping around 97 per cent of the road network we manage free from roadworks.
“Safety is our top priority and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before setting off over this period.”
Tom Legg, The Football Association’s Head of Transport, said:
“The FA is delighted to be partnering with Highways England for the benefit of our mutual customers.
“We’re working together to ensure that spectator journeys to and from Wembley Stadium are as hassle-free as possible and Highways England’s efforts to remove hundreds of miles of roadworks over the play-off finals bank holiday weekend is a great example of a positive intervention to improve the overall spectator experience.”
Where possible, the motorway and major A-road network will be free of roadworks from 6am Friday, May 24 until 12.01am on Tuesday, May 28.
Before they set off, Highways England is urging motorists to:
Check fuel: Make sure you have enough to get to your destination
Check tyres: 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 screen wash 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
Highways England is also reminding people to ensure that they have the correct licence and insurance to tow whatever the weight, make sure you have connected correctly, and always ensure your load is secure and within the limits for your vehicle before setting off.
A series of specialist videos can be found online to help people carry out basic vehicle checks before they set off on their travels. The videos can be viewed online.
Highways England is also urging drivers to stay safe by adhering to motorway signage, including the red X signals on smart motorways. Highways England close lanes for a reason and drivers ignoring red X signs put themselves and others at risk.
Find out more about driving on smart motorways. for further information.
Drivers planning to use the Dartford Crossing are reminded to pay Dart Charge in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.
More information can be found on our website or by calling our information line (0300 123 5000) they can keep up to date with conditions on the roads.
For more detailed information on how to carry out your vehicle checks, search Think!