MOTORISTS are being advised to plan their journeys and check their vehicles ahead of and during the planned rail strike this week.

England’s motorways and major A-roads are expected to be busier than usual over the coming days because of disruption on large parts of the rail network.

National Highways, which operates and maintains the 4,300-mile strategic road network, will be ready to deploy additional traffic officers and control room staff to manage any extra congestion on the network if required.

Recovery crews could also be positioned close to the motorway on some key routes to clear incidents quickly and prevent long delays.

Strikes will take place on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week, affecting Network Rail and the majority of train operators.

Drivers are being urged to do their bit to keep traffic moving by carrying out basic vehicle checks before setting off.

Mel Clarke, customer service director at National Highways, said: “National Highways will be putting measures in place to ensure we continue to keep the country moving safely and deal with any increased traffic volumes caused by rail strike action.

“Roads could be busier than usual during strike days, so we would recommend that drivers plan journeys in advance and carry out basic checks to make sure vehicles are roadworthy.

“This includes checking tyres, engine oil, water, lights and ensuring you have enough fuel to get to your destination.”

Motorists should ensure tyre pressures are suitable for the load and check the condition of tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear across the whole tyre including sidewall.   

Engine oil should be checked regularly and topped up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you are topping up more than usual. 

Always keep your screen wash topped up with a good ratio of water and screen wash to maximise the cleaning efficiency so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen easily.   

If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk.

Before setting out, make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. Running out of fuel can put you, your family and other road users at risk unnecessarily.  

Live traffic information can be found on variable message signs, by following National Highways on Twitter or via