Families 'must plan holiday routes'

Families have been warned to double check weather reports and routes before hitting the road over the school summer holidays.

The Highways Agency issued the advice before the start of the break this weekend.

Drivers are being reminded by Road safety minister Mike Penning to get more information on traffic conditions or to use ajourney planner before setting off.

Ahead of the getaway the top five traffic hotspots have been published.

They are: the A303 from the M3 through Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset; the M5 from Almondsbury near Bristol to Exeter; the M3/M27/A31 from Winchester in Hampshire to the Dorset coast; M6 between Junction 11A through Staffordshire and Cheshire into Lancashire; and the western part of the M25 between M1 interchange at junction 21 in Hertfordshire and the M3 interchange at junction 12 west of Chertsey in Surrey.

Professor Stephen Glaister, the RAC Foundation director, said: "Drivers heading to the continent should beware that the French police are out to catch speeding drivers after a rise in road deaths earlier this year.

"The authorities will demand an on-the-spot fine from those even just marginally over the limit. Research by the Post Office shows the average fine dished out to motorists across Europe is more than £50, though in France the maximum is £1,500."

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