Christmas escape begins amid freeze

Motorists starting their Christmas getaways and last-minute shoppers are expected to keep the roads busy despite the continuing freeze.

Thursday is expected to be one of the busiest driving days of 2010, with peak traffic towards the evening.

Roadworks along the England's motorways and major A roads have been suspended by the Highways Agency to ease travel difficulties over the Christmas and new-year period.

However, work will continue in some places, including sections of the M25, as well as a stretch of the M1 through Bedfordshire.

Major shopping areas, city centres and retail parks will be bustling with shoppers as they rush to finish their festive season purchases, the RAC said.

But it expects Christmas eve to be the busiest for Christmas travellers.

RAC patrol ambassador of the year, Alan Wilcock said: "After all the recent bad weather and with Christmas being the busiest time of the year on the roads, we recommend that people double check their route before setting off to check for any problems and listen to traffic updates."

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