Road Works

Rule 288

When the 'Road Works Ahead' sign is displayed, you will need to be more watchful and look for additional signs providing more specific instructions. Observe all signs - they are there for your safety and the safety of road workers.

  • You MUST NOT exceed any temporary maximum speed limit
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front (see Rule 126)
  • Use your mirrors and get into the correct lane for your vehicle in good time and as signs direct
  • Do not switch lanes to overtake queuing traffic
  • Take extra care near cyclists and motorcyclists as they are vulnerable to skidding on grit, mud or other debris at road works
  • Where lanes are restricted due to road works, merge in turn (see Rule 134)
  • Do not drive through an area marked off by traffic cones
  • Watch out for vehicles entering or leaving the works area. Where vehicles are travelling in the road and are displaying amber warning lights, leave extra space and expect them to slow or turn into a works area
  • Concentrate on the road ahead, not the road works
  • Bear in mind that the road ahead may be obstructed by the works or by slow-moving or stationary traffic

[Law RTRA section 16]

Additional rules for high-speed roads

Rule 289

Take special care on motorways and other high-speed dual carriageways.

  • Lanes may be closed to traffic and a lower speed limit may apply
  • Works vehicles may be used to close lanes or carriageways for repairs. Where large 'Keep Left' or 'Keep Right' signs are displayed on the back, you MUST move over and pass the works vehicle on the side indicated and not return to the closed lane until you can see it is safe to do so
  • Where a vehicle displays the sign 'CONVOY VEHICLE NO OVERTAKING', you MUST NOT pass the vehicle. A flashing light arrow or red 'X' may also be used to make the works vehicle more visible from a distance and give earlier warning to drivers.

Rule 290

Road works may contain features that require extra care.

  • Narrow lanes. Lanes may be narrower than normal and will be marked by studs or temporary road markings. Keep a safe distance (see Rule 126) from the vehicle in front and make sure you can clearly see the edges of the lane ahead
  • Contraflow systems. These mean that you may be travelling in a narrower lane than normal and with no permanent barrier between you and oncoming traffic. At the start and finish of contraflows, you should slow down and increase the distance to the vehicle in front because changes in the camber of the road may affect vehicle stability.
  • Breakdown advice. If your vehicle breaks down in road works, follow Rules 275, 277 and 278 but be aware that areas marked off by cones contain significant hazards. Where available, you should move your vehicle into a signed road works refuge location. Signs indicate where dedicated recovery services are provided.