Hundreds of miles of roadworks will be lifted, rail services enhanced and rail engineering works postponed or accelerated in the UK over Christmas to help travellers with their journeys.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a comprehensive plan for the Christmas travel window between 23 and 27 December to minimise disruption and allow extra services to run.

Transport passengers are also being urged to plan their journeys carefully, consider quieter routes and where possible book ahead.

“With many people carefully considering whether to travel to see loved ones this Christmas, we’re taking steps to try to ease journeys,” said Mr Shapps.

Road measures include 288 miles of maintenance works being removed, with a total of 778 miles of roadworks on motorways and A-roads now cleared.

Where essential roadworks must continue speed limits will be set at 60mph where possible, including on key routes such as the M6 and M1, to keep disruption to a minimum.

Ministers have also written to all local authorities with the request that they lift as many roadworks as possible and ensure bus services are running reliably over the period, to ease traffic on local roads.