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Stretches of roadworks on motorways and A-roads in England should be shortened in an effort to ease traffic congestion, the government has urged.

According to reports, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has told Highways England to introduce tough new rules for contractors to prevent motorists getting stuck in lengthy queues. Under the plans stretches of roadworks could be limited to two miles or less.

Mr McLoughlin also wants better communication with road users so they understand the reason for works and can plan alternative routes.
A DfT spokesman told the BBC: “Our road investment strategy will deliver the biggest upgrade to Britain’s roads in a generation and secure our transport network for the long-term.

“But as it is delivered we’ve got to respect the drivers who use our roads every day.

“That means taking common sense decisions to minimise frustrations wherever possible.”

A Highways England spokesman added: “We want to provide a better, safer experience for road users on England’s motorways and major A roads, including throughout roadworks where major upgrades are being carried out.

“We are committed to minimising disruption from roadworks even further and are exploring managing work in different ways while ensuring good value for money for the public.”

Malcolm Bingham from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says a new government ban on long stretches of roadworks on motorways could reduce delays and cut costs for HGV operators.

The head of road network management policy said: “We know that for the largest vehicles it costs £1 for every minute they’re stuck in traffic. Limiting roadworks to two-mile stretches could considerably reduce the time they’re delayed. Nose-to-tail shunts are more prevalent in queues of slow moving traffic too, so hopefully this will also cut the number of accidents in roadworks.”