This week sees the end of the school term for most in England and Wales (21st July).
The start of the summer holidays signals the start of millions of extra journeys on the road as people set about enjoying the time off with their children. The RAC says that it expects there to be 36.5 million trips that it calls “leisure” journeys.
That’s an awful lot of cars hitting the roads causing the routine bouts of traffic chaos up and down the UK. As ever, there are places that are expected to be particularly bad again with the most busy time reckoned to be 11am to 4m on the Saturday (21st).
The normal peak traffic on a Friday will be much worse, too, with many people going away that evening. Expect it to be busy until around 8 that night as people try not to waste a second of the new holiday period.
Many will head to the coast, so for us living in North Wales, the A55 is going to be very busy, expect delays! You can bet that driving around town will become that bit harder, too, as people slow right down to take in the view and look for non existant parking spaces.
If you are getting out of town this weekend and heading elsewhere it’s worth looking here to see what roads are affected by road works, 259 major routes will have issues. Just because much of the country will up and move this weekend don’t expect the road works to be lifted or finished in time. That only really happens over bank holidays.
If it’s any crumb of comfort, it could be worse. Easter is the busiest time for the nation’s roads, probably because that is the first break of the year in several months and people are itching to get away.
Before setting off on your journey, which might turn into an epic, it would be a good idea to check that your car is fit for the journey and that you will actually get to your destination eventually. That includes fuel! Did you know that 22 drivers ran out of fuel A DAY this time last year. Who could possibly do that – make sure it’ not you!
Around this area the M53 stretch between Chester and Liverpool will be snarled up as will these other “hotspots”:
M5 Almondsbury Interchange and from Bristol to Taunton
A30 and A38 Exeter to Cornwall
A303 Andover to Ilminster
M4 between Cardiff and Swansea
M25 between Gatwick and M1
A23/M23 to Brighton
A34 and M3 south and south west to the south coast
A47 Swaffham to Great Yarmouth
A11 Thetford to Norwich
M55 between Preston and Blackpool
A14 between the Midlands and the east coast
A590/A591 between the M6 and the Lake District
A66 between M6 and the coast
M53 between Liverpool and Chester
(source RAC Traffic Watch).
Their advice is to travel when others aren’t so that’s either an early start or a late finish. If that’s not possible for you then it’s a case of grin and bear it. Try and keep everyone in the car happy, and remember, the worse the journey the more you’ll appreciate getting to the hotel or pub of choice!