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Highways England urges vehicle owners to do essential checks before travelling

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Highways England is urging car, caravan, campervan and motorhome owners to carry out essential checks before travelling this summer.

Between July and August last year, 20 per cent of breakdowns on Highways England roads — motorways and major A-roads — were caused by tyre problems, and more than 1,200 vehicles broke down because they ran out of fuel. 

Before you set off on a journey, Highways England’s advises that you:

  • Do your vehicle safety checks
  • Check loads are safely secured
  • Check travel conditions
  • If you are towing: check you have the correct licence and insurance to tow whatever the weight, check your vehicle is connected correctly, and check the load is secure and within the limits for the vehicle.

Richard Leonard, Highways England's Head of Road Safety, Safety, Engineering & Standards, said: “It’s likely to be a busy weekend so if you are taking to the road make sure you check conditions before you travel and try and leave plenty of time for your journey.

“If you haven’t driven for a while due to lockdown, you might feel a bit strange getting back behind the wheel, and your vehicle will need a few simple checks to ensure it’s roadworthy. Checking your tyres, oil, water, lights and fuel doesn’t take long – but it will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

“And if you’re on a long journey, remember to take breaks. Let’s all enjoy summer safely.”

The Camping and Caravanning Club has also backed the advice to check before you travel. Ian Hewlett, Technical Manager at the Club, said: “It’s vitally important to check your leisure vehicle over before any journey but especially so given the amount of time these vehicles have been idle recently. We would urge people to pay particular attention to tyres, brakes and lights and electrical connections before setting off on holiday.”

Routes to the South West of England and Scotland are expected to be particularly busy this summer, as recent VisitBritain/VisitEngland research found these regions to be the most popular for those looking to holiday in the UK.

VisitEngland has launched a Know Before You Go public information campaign to support tourism in England as businesses reopen, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking what it is safe to do and when, and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling.

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