UK Government

Highways Agency (National): Driver Advice: Papal Visit 16 – 19 September 2010

Press Release   •   Sep 13, 2010 12:44 BST

Road users are being advised by the Highways Agency to plan their journeys and be prepared for increased traffic during the Pope’s visit later this week as thousands of people travel to events across the country.

On Thursday 16 September the Pope will be visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow, and there may be increased northbound traffic on the M6 and A1 up to mid-day, and increased southbound traffic in the late afternoon and evening.

On Friday 17 and Saturday 18 September the Pope will be visiting London and there may be increased traffic on approaches to the M25 and other roads heading into and out of central London.

On Sunday 19 September large numbers of people will be travelling by coach to attend a Mass in south Birmingham. The approaches to M42 Junction 2 and M5 Junction 4, along with surrounding roads, are likely to be very busy from midnight until early morning, and again from mid-day until late afternoon. There may also be increased traffic on other roads heading into central Birmingham.

Highways Agency Planning Manager, Jenny Moten, said:

“Highways Agency Traffic Officers will be on patrol in locations where there may be additional traffic, to ensure that incidents are cleared quickly.  Only those with pre-booked tickets obtained through their Catholic parish will be admitted to the Mass.  Because of the level of traffic expected, all road-users should take particular care to plan their journeys and check traffic conditions before travelling. Live traffic information is available from our website, and information will be fed to local and national radio travel bulletins and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone.  Electronic message signs will give up to the minute information on traffic conditions from our National Traffic Control Centre.”

Drivers can get up-to-the-minute information on road conditions on the Highways Agency’s website: www.highways.gov.uk

For more information about the Pope’s visit: www.thepapalvisit.org.uk

Notes to editors

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England’s motorways and trunk roads on behalf of the Secretary of State. 
2.  Real -time traffic information for England’s motorways and major A roads is now available:
* From our Traffic Radio service, available on DAB digital radio and the internet atwww.trafficradio.org.uk To tune into the DAB service, simply press the "scan" button on your radio. The radio will tune into all available channels and you can select the new service by scrolling through the channels until you reach "Traffic Radio".
* On the internet at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic
* By phone from the Highways Agency 24-hour voice activated phone service on 0300 123 5000.  (“Calls from landlines to 0300 and 08700 numbers can cost up to 8p per minute but are free from some landline providers: mobiles usually cost more. Please check costs with your service provider.”).

For more general information about the highways agency and its work, visit the highways agency website www.highways.gov.uk, or telephone the highways agency information line on 0300 123 5000.  (“Calls from landlines to 0300 and 08700 numbers can cost up to 8p per minute but are free from some landline providers: mobiles usually cost more. Please check costs with your service provider.”).

Issued by the Highways Agency. For further information please contact Mark Powell on 0121 687 4078 / 07776 466896.

Contacts

NDS Enquiries 
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept 
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk