Families urged to drive home for Christmas early as National Highways strikes hit

motorway maintenance traffic

Families urged to drive home early for Christmas

National Highways staff walk out today, kick-starting the holiday travel chaos.

Staff in charge of keeping traffic flowing and managing incidents on the UK’s biggest roads are on strike from now until Boxing Day. Meanwhile, industrial action by union workers will potentially cause further mayhem over the weekend, with some trains set to stop running from Friday.

Families urged to drive home early

The combination of holiday traffic, road worker and train strikes will make it difficult for millions of people travelling to see family this Christmas.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), including traffic officers, are going on strike as workers fight for better pay and working conditions.

Travel experts are encouraging people to start their Christmas journeys as early as possible to save getting caught in the disruptions.

Travel journalist Simon Calder told Good Morning Britain: “I’ve never known a Christmas quite like this for travel stress.

“My advice is start as early as you possibly can. Toward the end of the week and on Christmas Day it’s going to get very tricky, with the roads being very crowded.”

When are the road worker strikes?

PCS strikes will affect various areas of the country throughout December and early January.

The full list of strike dates are:

  • December 22 – London and South East
  • December 23 – London and South East
  • December 30 – West Midlands and South West
  • December 31 – West Midlands and South West
  • January 3 – All areas
  • January 4 – All areas
  • January 6 – East Midlands and eastern England
  • January 7 – East Midlands and eastern England

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We’re aware our action is likely to inconvenience travellers but, even as we escalate it ahead of Christmas, we remind people this dispute could be resolved today if the Government puts more money on the table.”

Driving home for Christmas? Here are the roads to avoid over the festive season.

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