Motorway roadworks

AA members accept more pain for a quicker gain

More than half of AA members would rather endure extensive roadworks over 10 miles if it got the job done more quickly

More than half of AA members would rather endure extensive roadworks over 10 miles if it got the job done more quickly

More than half of AA members would rather endure extensive roadworks over 10 miles if it got the job done more quickly, rather than stringing it out in two-mile stretches over a much longer period, AA-Populus research reveals.

Government plans to limit major works on English strategic roads to two miles could backfire if new techniques are not adopted, says the AA.  If the current 500-mile motorway upgrade plans, up to 2021, are limited to a two-mile limit at a time, it could at least double the time it takes to get the work done.  That would also mean drivers would face more not less disruption on their journeys.

10 miles

A new AA-Populus poll*, responded to by 29,660 AA members last month, found that 51% thought the length of works should be restricted to 10 miles - a quarter strongly in support.  However, 43% also agreed that, to avoid two separate periods of works, it would be better to work on 20 miles of motorway at one time than two lots of ten.

Increased length of roadworks

Respondents strongly agreed that roadwork length has increased in the last decade (67%) and even more agreed there are regular instances of speed restrictions and lane closures when no work appears to be taking place (88%).  The need for better information about the works taking place was also supported by 68%.

The AA says that given the amount of work due to take place on English motorways it is important to review roadwork practices from the top.

Drivers are increasingly frustrated about the major roadworks we are seeing on the English network

Edmund King, AA president

Increasingly frustrated

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “Drivers are increasingly frustrated about the major roadworks we are seeing on the English network – not just their length but also working practices which see many works sites inactive during the day but with long lengths of lower speed limit.

"Limiting the lengths of excessive road works makes sense particularly the stretches over 20 miles such as on the M3. It is difficult for drivers to concentrate whilst driving on narrow lanes over such long periods.

Our members are concerned that if the stretches of road works are too short it would simply lead to two sets of work at different times - not one

Edmund King, AA president

Double the pain for the same gain

“However, our members are concerned that if the stretches of road works are too short it would simply lead to two sets of work at different times - not one. That would double the pain for the same gain.  Hopefully this review will explore the development of new techniques that could speed up the work with less impact on drivers”.


(22 September 2015)

*Populus received 29,660 responses from AA members to its online poll between 20th and 26th August 2015. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.