The busiest motorways in Britain suffered lane closures every single day last year, meaning they never actually operated at full capacity.
The M6, M1, M4, M5, M25, M60 and M54 all registered 365 days of lane closures because of maintenance and roadworks, reveals motor insurer Swiftcover in a Freedom of Information data request.
Other major motorways include the M40 also clocked up a days closed total of nearly 100%; even the average number of days closed for the UK motorway network was a heady 247 days.
25% of motorways were only fully open for a maximum of 25 days, and 33% of them had lane closures for at least six months.
Swiftcover product manager Roman Bryl said: “Some of our busiest road networks are never fully operational, and lane closures and diversions are a source of real frustration to drivers.”
Motorway closures: things will only get worse…
And it’s going to get worse too, predicts the insurer. The government is investing £317 million in a ‘pinch point’ programme to help improve traffic flow. The longer-term gains of this will be positive… but right now, it’s resulted in 123 sets of “ambitious” roadworks.
Less than a quarter of these have been completed.
Bryl even ambitiously suggests drivers should consider not actually using the busiest motorways at all. “Drivers should bear in mind that motorways may not actually be the quickest route for their journey, and plan ahead in order to avoid potential delays.”
Over to you: what’s the most notorious set of motorway roadworks near you, how long have they been running for and what are the effects of them?