MORE than 800 miles of roadworks are set to be completed or lifted from roads just in time for the Christmas period.

Highways England traffic officers have announced that they want to 'keep motorists moving' over the festive period by keeping around 98% of motorways and major A-roads roadwork-free in time for Christmas.

Work will be carried out across the clock so that the vast majority of road works will be removed by 6am on Friday December 20, and remain that way until 12.01am Thursday January 2.

Highways England’s customer service director, Melanie Clarke, said: “We don’t want roadworks to spoil Christmas so we’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible; that’s why we’re keeping around 98 per cent of the road network we manage free from roadworks.

“And we’re asking drivers to be prepared too. We know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before their journeys.

“So, before you set off, check traffic conditions, check your vehicle, and make sure you’re aware of the signs and signals on motorways.”

The company is urging drivers to fully prepare themselves and their vehicles for any festive journeys, as research shows that almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems which could be avoided with simple checks and nearly a quarter are caused by tyre problems.

Some of the key things they are prompting people to check before hitting the road include fuel, tyres, engine oil, water level and car lights.

To avoid busy travel times, Highways England is also urging drivers to check traffic conditions before they set out and to make sure their vehicle is ready for the journey ahead.

For more advice or information, visit the Highways England website, or call the information line on 03001235000.