As many transport consultants and their clients will no doubt appreciate the significance of, the summer is now firmly in full swing, with holidaymakers up and down the country setting off on major seasonal trips. 

And speaking of trips, National Highways – the Government-owned company that is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of England’s motorways and major A roads – has a “TRIP” of its own to share with motorists. 

Specifically, that is the name given to the organisation’s new driver awareness campaign, which encourages car users to carefully plan their summer journeys during a time of year that is notoriously busy for vehicle breakdowns. 

What is National Highways’ ‘TRIP’ journey planning checklist? 

Central to the erstwhile Highways Agency’s new campaign is a checklist that the organisation advises drivers to use in their preparations for their next journey.

Four principles make up the TRIP checklist: 

  • Topping up with fuel, oil, and screen wash 
  • Resting – specifically, by taking a rest break every two hours 
  • Inspecting a vehicle’s tyre pressure and tread
  • Preparing, including having a plan for every conceivable set of weather conditions. 

National Highways has also put forward further advice for motorists as part of the campaign – including the need to put together a seasonal kit if they will be driving in hot weather, and to bring along sufficient drinking water, food, and sunblock on their journey. 

More information on the TRIP campaign can be found on the dedicated website for the initiative

But it’s also a very special anniversary for England’s transport network 

Alongside its advice for drivers, National Highways has been throwing the spotlight on the historic milestone of 100 years having passed since the introduction of the road numbering system and A roads in England. 

Coinciding with the occasion, the National Highways Holiday Omnibus – a nationally representative poll of 2,010 adults around the country – discovered that over four in 10 (43%) respondents intended to take domestic holidays in 2023. 

According to a press release by the organisation, 30% were set to travel to coastal areas and the seaside for a summer vacation, with 18% declaring the South West to be their favourite holiday destination. 

With National Highways managing approximately 2,600 miles of major A roads in England, helping holidaymakers to get to where they need to be, it is understandable why the organisation is anxious to ensure motorists adopt suitable measures like those outlined in its TRIP checklist. 

Nonetheless, the company is also evidently proud of the profound role such road infrastructure is continuing to play in bringing people – and top holiday destinations – together. 

As National Highways’ Customer Services Director, Andrew Butterfield, put it: “This year marks the 100th anniversary of the roads numbering system and it continues to play an enormous role in helping people navigate their journeys. 

“As our survey data shows, we expect tens of thousands of people to be travelling on our major A roads and motorways to enjoy a ‘staycation’ this summer, and there’s no better time to enjoy some of the wonderful scenery we have right here on our doorstep.” 

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