A plan to support the Christmas travel window saw the removal of 778 of miles of roadworks as part of The Government’s measures focused on minimising disruption over the Christmas period.

The Christmas travel window, between December 23 and 27, also includes enhanced rail services, postponing and accelerating rail engineering works and cutting ticket charges.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained: “With many people carefully considering whether to travel to see loved ones this Christmas, we’re taking steps to try to ease journeys.

“Clearing 778 miles of road works and postponing rail upgrade works will ease congestion, minimise disruption and allow extra services to run”.

The Government says it is aworking closely with transport operators to establish priority areas for testing of workers, to maintain and maximise services.

Government travel tsar Sir Peter Hendy said: “Throughout the pandemic, the transport industry has been united in its efforts to keep passengers and staff safe. We must ensure that shared focus continues at this important time.

“The measures announced today will help ease congestion, boost capacity and minimise disruption for travellers. I will continue to work closely with all operators and offer recommendations that will see people home safely for Christmas”.

However, despite these plans, travellers are being urged to closely consider the timings of any journey, consider quieter routes, and on rail and coach services, book in advance.

On the road, an additional 288 miles of maintenance works will be removed, with a total of 778 miles of roadworks on motorways and A-roads now cleared.

Where essential roadworks must continue speed limits will be set at 60mph where possible, including on key routes such as the M6 and M1, to keep disruption to a minimum.  

Ministers have written to all local authorities with the request that they lift as many roadworks as possible and to ensure winter preparedness, with around 70% confirming they will modify gritting routes to ensure testing centres are covered.