Nearly nine million motorists will hit the roads this weekend

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Travelling over the next few days may prove a little tricky as millions head off on their summer holidays

You might want to avoid a road trip this weekend, after traffic figures released by the RAC show the roads are likely to be very busy.

Data from the RAC’s Traffic Watch shows drivers face long queues and congested roads this weekend, as holiday fever hits Britain. The end of the school term will spark the traditional Great British summer holiday getaway, with 8.7 million people heading away from Friday through to Sunday.

The height of traffic will occur on Saturday 22 July, with 3.4 million vehicles gracing the roads. Friday 21st will see 2.5 million cars fight for a space, while 2.8 million vehicles are expected on Sunday.

Traffic hotspots

Which roads will be the busiest? Many routes are thought to be affected, including but not limited to:

  • M5 Almondsbury Interchange, and from Bristol to Taunton
  • M4 between Cardiff and Swansea
  • M25 between Gatwick and M1
  • M53 between Liverpool and Chester
  • M55 between Preston and Blackpool
  • A23/M23 to Brighton
  • A34 and M3 south and south west to the south coast
  • A47 Swaffham to Great Yarmouth
  • A11 Thetford to Norwich
  • A14 between the Midlands and the east coast
  • A590/A591 between the M6 and the Lake District
  • A30 and A38 Exeter to Cornwall
  • A303 Andover to Ilminster
  • A66 between M6 and the coast.

When should I avoid the roads?

Try and avoid these routes – however, if you must travel, the RAC recommends that you steer clear of these peak times:

  • Friday 21 July between 1pm and 8pm
  • Saturday 22 July between 11am and 4pm
  • Sunday 23 July between 11am and 4pm.

The RAC surveyed 3,176 motorists on their travel plans throughout the whole of the summer period. The data revealed there will potentially be as many as 36.5 million leisure journeys made over the 17-day period between Friday 21 July and Sunday 6 August, however, no one day will see more holiday traffic than this Saturday 22 July.

RAC traffic spokesman, Rod Dennis, said: “While not as busy as Easter, the Great British summer holiday getaway begins with an initial rush for the roads this weekend, as that’s when the majority of schools break up. But, unlike any other time of year, the country’s major tourist routes will remain steadily busy through the rest of the six weeks, never more so than at the weekend with traffic toing and froing from major holiday locations.”

What can you do to reduce the chaos?

Mr. Dennis advised all motorists should: “Always to try to travel when the vast majority of motorists aren’t – very early in the morning or late in the evening, but for many, of course, this is just not possible, nor practical. So, if you are one vehicle in the 3.4 million making a leisure journey on Saturday, a healthy dose of patience is going to be required.

“Family in-car entertainment aside, there’s nothing worse than suffering an unexpected breakdown en route to your holiday destination - so carrying out some basic vehicle checks before setting out might just help avoid a bad start to that well-earned summer break.”

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