MOTORISTS are being urged to plan ahead for journeys in the New Year as traffic levels return to normal after the Christmas break.
National Highways workers part of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are planning a national strike on January 3 and 4 – the first working days after the festive season in England.
This is due to a dispute over pay, pensions, justice, job security, and redundancy terms.
Roads across the 4,500 mile network are likely to be busy on both days and drivers are being asked to plan ahead, particularly with national rail strikes being staged at the same time.
National Highways is now advising people to check the traffic website for road conditions and any congestion before embarking on a journey.
Duncan Smith, executive director of operations at National Highways, said: “A small minority of front-line operational staff are involved in the PCS strikes, which have had minimal overall impact so far.
“We have well-rehearsed resilience plans in place to continue managing and operating our network safely, including when wider action takes place in the New Year.
“Millions of people rely on our roads and there is a possibility that they may be busier than usual on strike days, particularly as they fall on the first working days after the festive break when industrial action is also being staged on other transport modes.
“We’d urge drivers to plan ahead and check their vehicle is in good working condition.”
National Highways say that regional strikes last month involving some front-line operational staff – those in regional operations centres and on-road traffic officers – had no impact on the operation of motorways and major A-roads.
The industrial action this week does not include colleagues in a range of other roles, including those who work on the network every day to maintain road surfaces, signs and signals.
National Highways’ gritter fleet is also unaffected and remains at the ready to be deployed to keep roads safe and clear during cold weather.