Despite predictions of carnage on the UK’s streets Friday, December 22, so-called ‘Frantic Friday’, passed by with minimal congestion – but what does the rest of the festive season have to offer on the roads?
Find out what to expect with our guide to Christmas travel on the UK’s roads…
Where and when are the festive traffic hotspots?
Here are the routes expected to bring the heaviest congestion and delays over the holiday period. Check out the dates, places and times to avoid here.
Day-by-day guide to number of journeys expected over Christmas
Use this guide to help decide the best times to make car journeys over the festive period. Table shows how many leisure journeys are expected over the coming period.
When is the worst congestion predicted?
Christmas Eve is expected to see most leisure traffic on the roads, with 1.87million journeys, but Friday’s clash of commuters and festive travellers is likely to result in most gridlocked roads.
The coming together of rush-hour drivers heading home and those on the festive getaway, will see the traditional tidal flow of traffic fail as opposing journeys could cripple the network.
When are the busiest times expected?
The following dates and times are predicted to see high levels of congestion.
When are the best times to travel?
Avoiding Christmas Eve and rush-hour periods on Friday, December 22, will help cut journey times.This will be assisted by the ‘big days’ falling on weekdays and schools staggering break-up dates across the pre-Christmas week.
Should I delay my journey until Christmas Day?
Data suggests the 25th will see 1.87million leisure journeys taking place – the joint-highest figure over the festive period. Make sure you leave plenty of time or risk tucking into cold turkey and fizzless fizz.
Will the roads be quieter between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve?
Commuter traffic will be virtually non-existent, but the total pre-Christmas getaway traffic figures will be eclipsed by 17.5million leisure journey expected to be undertaken over the holiday week itself.
This will lead to congestion in hotspots, such as shopping centres and motorways, but in general, local roads should remain relatively free from delays.
What about rail strikes?
With rail strikes planned over the holiday period, there’s likely to be an increase in the risk of congestion on major routes between cities.
Rail disruption is expected on December 22, 23, 24, 27 and 31.
What about roadworks?
Highways England has stated that 99 per cent of the UK’s major roads will be free of road works over the festive period. This includes motorways and A-roads.