The Big Christmas Getaway: drivers warned of 3-hour hold ups

The Big Christmas Getaway: drivers warned of 3-hour hold ups
The RAC is reminding drivers to expect delays in the Christmas run-up, with an estimated 20 million leisure trips planned.

Research by the RAC and INRIX suggests Friday (December 21) will see the most congestion, as around 2.8 million vehicle-loads head off to see friends and family.

This is in addition to large volumes of everyday commuter traffic as offices and schools break up for Christmas.

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Thursday (December 20) will also be busier than normal, with around 2.5 million leisure trips expected. Travel analytics specialists INRIX expect delays of up to three hours on one section of the northbound M6 on Thursday afternoon (Junction 15 to Junction 25).

Meanwhile, Friday could see queues of over 1.5 hours on the southbound M40 between the M42 in Warwickshire and Junction 8A at Oxford.

Christmas getaway map:

View the full map here

While data suggests people plan to stagger their journeys, RAC Patrol of the Year Mark Souster says it’s still important drivers prepare their cars for the journey to avoid a breakdown nightmare.

 “It’s vitally important every driver planning a trip gives their car a once over to make sure it’s up to the job, as a single breakdown can bring some roads to a grinding halt, slowing down the Christmas getaway for all of us,” he said.

“A few moments spent checking things like fuel, oil, coolant and screenwash levels and the condition and pressure of tyres could make the difference between a stress-free journey and one plagued by a breakdown.”

The number of pure leisure journeys is expected to peak on Boxing Day, at around 6.8 million trips.

A further 4.4 million such trips are anticipated for Thursday 27 December, but with offices and schools closed these won’t coincide with commuting traffic.

To make sure you avoid the worst of the congestion on the roads and get to your destination on time, check out the latest traffic information on the RAC Route Planner.

Read the full story on the RAC Media Centre here.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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