Driving is often a mundane activity. We use it to get from A to B – for the weekly big shop or the school run – so much that we can forget how it gives us access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
Highways England sought to help us remember this through an online poll last week. Two roads – the Cumbrian stretch of the M6 in the North West and the M1 in Leicestershire (near Lutterworth) – came in joint first place. The reasons for this aren’t entirely surprising – the former is loved for its rolling hills, whilst the latter was liked for the smooth journey it provided.
The other roads in the top five were as follows:
2. M5 in the South West (near Taunton)
3. A1 in Northumberland
4. M62 in the North West (near Chainbar)
5. M40 in the South East (near Chiltern Hills)
The survey came just days before the late May bank holiday, when roadworks on these and other stunning roads across the UK are halted to make sure people’s travel plans go as smoothly as possible.
The company’s teams will be working around the clock to remove more than 700 miles of roadworks – meaning around 97 per cent of motorways and major A roads will be roadworks-free in time for the big day.
Highways England’s customer service director, Melanie Clarke, said: “Many people have a favourite road they love driving on – and we want everyone to reach their destinations safely. We know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before setting off over this period.”
These checks include:
Fuel: make sure you’ve got enough in your tank to get where you want to go
Tyres: check the condition of all your tyres (that includes the spare!) Look out for cuts or wear and make sure your tyres meet the legal limit for tread depth, 1.6mm.
Engine oil: use your dipstick to check oil before any long journey, and top up if you need to. If you find yourself topping your car up more than usual, don’t be afraid to take your car back to the garage.
Water: to ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen.
Lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can cause your vehicle to fail its MOT.
Highways England is also reminding about the rules surrounding vehicle loads. Ensure that you have the correct licence and insurance to tow whatever the weight, make sure you have connected correctly, and always ensure your load is secure and within the limits for your vehicle before setting off.
What are your favourite roads to drive? Do you regularly check the things that Highways England suggest? Let us know in the comments below!