The settees were joined by 96 chairs, 49 cushions and 163 mattresses...

Highways England has launched a campaign to ensure that bulky loads are correctly tied down during road journeys, after 52 sofas fell on to English motorways during a nine-month period.

The sofas were joined by 96 chairs, 49 cushions and 163 mattresses, all of which dropped on to the carriageway from moving vehicles.

According to Highways England, the government-run company tasked with looking after the motorways, lost loads cause delays and collisions on the arterial road network, with the average incident involving lost loads taking 20 minutes to clear up.

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The organisation’s research has found that around nine in 10 cars carrying heavy loads did not have any method of securing their cargo, which could cause a significant risk to the occupants of the vehicle and other road users if the driver was forced to stop or had to change direction suddenly.

As a result, Highways England has launched its ‘Let’s All Get Home in One Piece’ campaign, which encourages drivers to be certain their loads are properly secured before setting off.

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, 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.’

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