Traffic up to "three times" busier for back-to-school Monday

Traffic up to
Popular routes back from the coast will be among the slowest as the UK readies itself for a congested week on the roads.

Monday September 4 sees the end of the traditional summer holiday season, with most children heading back to school and parents resuming their commutes.

Motorways – particularly in the south of England – dominate a list of anticipated pinch points, as traffic information supplier Inrix warns drivers to expect certain journey times to be up to three times longer than usual.

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Monday is expected to be the busiest day in general, as tens of thousands of holidaymakers make the most of the last few days of the break, among others returning to work.

Places known as holiday destinations, including the Lake District, Devon, Cornwall and East Anglia will be hardest hit, Inrix says.

The trip between Exeter and Bristol on the northbound M5 for example – which would normally take one hour and 15 minutes – is anticipated to take around two hours and five minutes due to the heavy presence on the road.

Other key delays are predicted on the M25 clockwise between Heathrow and Potters Bar, where a 15-minute ride in normal traffic conditions could take anything up to 50 minutes, particularly on Thursday and Saturday afternoon.

The country’s road network has been no stranger to congestion over the summer, with the recent bank holiday weekend seeing an influx of more than 18 million leisure journeys affecting major routes.

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Inrix chief economist Dr Graham Cookson said: “All good things must come to an end. Sadly for most, the end of the summer holidays heralds a return to work, school and traffic.

“Holidaymakers hoping to make the most of the remaining few days should be aware that traffic will be worst on Monday afternoon and evening.”

He added that the fastest way home may not be the shortest distance, and urged drivers to consider alternative routes.

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