ANYONE hoping to test their eyesight by going for a quick drive on the motorway will instead have to follow the lockdown rule of staying at home instead – Highways England is closing parts of the M4.
To allow for resurfacing works, barrier installation and the placement of signs and other technological wonders in safety, motorists will not be allowed on the road between 8pm this evening (Friday, January 8), through to 6am on Monday, January 11.
The stretch of road that will be closed in both directions is between junction 10 (Winnersh) and junction 12 (Theale).
Traffic diversions will be in place along the A4, A33, B3270 and A329M.
The work is part of the so-called Smart Motorway project.
Drivers who need to make essential journeys using both stretches of the M4 during the weekend are being advised to plan-ahead and allow extra time for their journeys if possible.
England is currently under lockdown restrictions and this means that the instruction is to stay at home unless there is a ‘reasonable excuse’, which includes work where it is not possible to work from home, volunteering, food shopping and meeting people in a support bubble.
We would be surprised if a drive to Barnard Castle was included as a list of reasonable excuses, but Google Maps suggests it is a four hour 42 minute journey of 263 miles, and would avoid the M4 closure. Motorists would drive to the M40, then use the A43 to get to the M1 and then use the A1(M).
Fines can be issued by police, starting at £200 for a first offence, rising for multiple offences.
More information can be found on the Highways England website (www.highwaysengland.co.uk/traffic), local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile apps, or by calling the customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000. Local Twitter services are also available at @HighwaysSEAST.