40 beds, 160 mattresses & a live pig: The items let loose on our motorways according to Highways England

Drivers have been forced to navigate 160 mattresses, 52 sofas and 40 beds littering motorways, Highways England has warned.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th May 2018, 6:30 pm
Updated Friday, 4th May 2018, 6:36 pm
It's not quite a table, but this is a shot from Highways Agency from the time a pig escaped onto a road
It's not quite a table, but this is a shot from Highways Agency from the time a pig escaped onto a road

The agency has issued a list of all the items recovered from motorways by traffic officers.

The list includes:

40 beds

96 chairs

49 cushions

163 mattresses

They all fell off vehicles and onto England’s motorways, where they were found by Highways England traffic officers.

The list of flying furniture also includes 52 sofas and 17 tables.

In 2017, the M62 in West Yorkshire had to be closed because of a pig loose on the road.A spokesman said: "Badly secured items that fall onto busy, high-speed roads are a danger that causes delays and even collisions. The average incident like this takes 20 minutes to clear up, often disrupting other road users.

"In a bid to keep the roads clear of domestic debris, Highways England has launched a campaign to encourage drivers with bulky items to make sure they are properly secure.

The message is simple: let’s all get home in one piece.

Highways England project manager Amelia Kirwan said: “We want all drivers and their items to get home in one piece. If you’re buying or moving furniture this weekend, use proper straps that are strong enough for the job.

"Don’t risk losing your stuff, and causing other drivers to become delayed, injured or worse.

“Our traffic officers picked up around 600 items such as mattresses, sofas and chairs during a nine month period. So before you set off, check your load is secure and your view is clear of obstructions.”

Research for Highways England, which is responsible for England’s motorways and major A-roads, found that nearly 9 out of 10 cars observed did not have any method of securing heavy loads inside a vehicle. If the driver stopped or changed direction suddenly, this creates a serious risk that a load can be thrown forward through the windscreen or hit vehicle occupants.

‘Let’s all get home in one piece’ is one of a number of Highways England safety warnings for drivers this bank holiday.

Drivers should also do a quick series of checks before setting off. Almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems that could be avoided by simply checking fuel levels, tyres, engine oil, water and lights.

A few minutes spent planning journeys and checking road conditions before setting off can also save time and frustration later. Tourist routes are likely to be particularly busy this weekend.

Join the Yorkshire Evening Post's new traffic group at www.facebook.com/groups/leedstraffic