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
  • 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 traffic entering or leaving the works area, but do not be distracted by what is going on there. 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
  • Keep a safe distance - there could be queues in front

To obtain further information about road works see 'Other information'.

[Law RTRA sect 16]

Additional rules for high-speed roads

Rule 289

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

  • One or more lanes may be closed to traffic and a lower speed limit may apply
  • Works vehicles that are slow moving or stationary with a large 'Keep Left' or 'Keep Right' sign on the back are sometimes used to close lanes for repairs, and a flashing light arrow may also be used to make the works vehicle more conspicuous from a distance and give earlier warning to drivers that they need to move over to the next lane
  • Check mirrors, slow down and change lanes if necessary
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front (see Rule 126)

Rule 290

Contraflow systems mean that you may be travelling in a narrower lane than normal and with no permanent barrier between you and oncoming traffic. The hard shoulder may be used for traffic, but be aware that there may be broken-down vehicles ahead of you. Keep a good distance from the vehicle ahead and observe any temporary speed limits.