Road closures cost the country £1 billion

Road closures throughout the UK last year cost the economy an estimated total of £1 billion, according to data from the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

The organisation submitted a Freedom of Information request to Highways England, revealing that there was a total of 443,590 lane closures on motorways and A-road throughout 2014.

A total of 44 different reasons were given for closures, with broken down vehicles by far the most common cause, accounting for more than 40 per cent of all of the setbacks.

443,590 road closures last year

Planned roadworks were also a major cause of closures, accounting for 14 per cent, while a worrying 12,795 closures were attributed to pedestrians wandering out into the middle of the lanes.

The stats also showed that 122 unsupervised children had be rescued from carriageways by highway workers and the emergency services, accounting for even more closures.

Further disruption was caused by police checks and illegal uses of the hard shoulder, while stray animals in the road and 856 suicides or suicide attempts were also recorded.

CEO of the IAM, Sarah Sillars, said: “People are putting their own lives at risk and those of others by not maintaining their vehicles properly to the point where they break down on our busiest roads.

“While we appreciate that a few breakdowns are unavoidable, such as a tyre blow out, the vast majority can be avoided or dealt with before taking a vehicle onto a key route.

“It also shows people do not treat our key economic arteries with the respect they deserve. Pedestrians, unsupervised children and objects thrown on the road should never be happening. It is clear an education and awareness campaign starting at school age is badly needed.”

Could lane closures be linked to road rage?

She added: “Investment in our roads would also play a big part in reducing some of those sorry statistics – having more than 5,700 pothole incidences causing road closures is not something England can be proud of.”

Lane closures and blocked-up roads have also been attributed to a major rise in road rage incidents in recent years, which authorities have dubbed ‘worrying’.

Recent statistics have shown that a massive 81 per cent of motorists have been victims of some form of road rage from another driver, with the worst incidents correlating with high levels of congestion.