Repairs put brakes

on motorways

IT was not that long ago that the moans were flooding in about poorly maintained motorways with potholes and defects leaving drivers shaken and stirred.

Now the repair crews have moved in with a vengeance it appears that the British motorist is paying the price with long queues caused by lane closures.

Drivers in England, Wales and Scotland are now facing an average of 382 planned motorway closures a month, according to new research from Confused.com.

Alongside this data, further research reveals more than 90 per cent of UK drivers have experienced a maintenance lane closure on the motorway, with drivers naming and shaming the M6 as the worst for closures.

These maintenance projects are having a direct impact on journeys, according to drivers, with over two thirds (67 per cent) having had to find an alternative route due to a diversion.

And they have certainly been racking up the mileage. On average, motorists are being diverted 14 miles out of their way as a result of motorway lane closures, adding an average of 38 minutes to the length of their journeys.

Over a quarter of drivers who had to find an alternative route say their most recent experience added a lengthy 21 miles or more to their trip and the same amount said they had been forced to drive for an extra 45 minutes or longer.

A frustrated 18 per cent say the longest amount of time they have been stuck on the motorway is over two hours, with five per cent of these having been stranded in their cars for more than four hours.

Worryingly for motorists, maintenance projects on the motorway appear to be on the rise with the average number of motorway closures a month increasing year-on-year, according to the data.

The average number of closures a month is up 16 per cent since 2014, when motorways in England, Scotland and Wales were seeing around 329 motorway closures a month, compared to 382 this year.

Given the scale of motorway maintenance projects currently underway in the UK, it is telling that more than two out of five (41 per cent) drivers experience lane closures at least every month.

Despite many motorists planning ahead, for some, closures for road maintenance are an unavoidable situation. For those unlucky drivers caught out by motorway closures, over half (56 per cent) will follow the sign-posted diversions.

However, over a third (36 per cent) will use their cunning and knowledge of surrounding roads to outwit the diverted route.

More than six in 10 (62 per cent) of technology-savvy drivers say they will sometimes use their sat nav or mobile phone mapping to find a faster route.

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