Motorists have been reminded to expect ‘significant congestion’ over the Christmas break, as 20 million individual journeys are set to take place.

This Friday (December 21st) is expected to be the worst for traffic, with 2.8 million individual journeys planned as commuters share the roads with those heading away for Christmas.

Research from the RAC and traffic firm Inrix has predicted a steady build-up ahead of Christmas, with Thursday also expected to be busy with 2.5 million journeys likely to take place.

The companies have also analysed where the biggest blackspots are for traffic.

The northbound M6 has been calculated as the worst road for congestion this Christmas, with delays of three hours possible between J15 and J25. This is followed by delays of 39 minutes on the M25, anti-clockwise from J4 to J30.

The M1 northbound between J21 and J26 is also expected to be congested, as well as sections of the M60 near Bolton, the M4 near Cardiff and the southbound M5 around Bristol.

Inrix data scientist Joshua Kidd said: “Our data shows that compared to a normal day, Thursday 20th December will see the biggest increase in cars on the road.

“With most drivers setting out mid-morning, traffic will become heavier over the course of the afternoon and stay congested into the evening.”

Drivers have been advised to wait until around 8 pm to avoid excessive traffic, as well as to look at alternative routes.

Highways England is expected to lift over 200 miles of roadworks on main A roads and motorists from 6 am on Friday, to help ease congestion.

Ted Welford


December 18, 2018

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