Are you one of 18 million motorists planning to hit the roads over Christmas?

Motorway traffic jam at night

Driving home for Christmas? Plan your travel to avoid the busy roads…

Nearly 18 million motorists are predicted to travel in the lead up to Christmas, according to research by the AA.

The busiest days will be 23rd December and Christmas Eve, with more than 17.8 million cars expected to hit the roads, while the busiest Saturday will be 18th December.

The best days to travel

While the run-up to Christmas will see the most congestion on the roads, Christmas Day is predicted to be one of the quietest travel days, with 14.5 million motorists travelling.

New Year’s Day will be the best day for travel across the festive period, with only 8.9 million drivers out and about.

Of those driving, almost a third plan to do so for work on 16th and 17th December, after which business-related travel will be likely to drop off until the new year.

Edmund King, AA President, said: “It’s a bumper-to-bumper Christmas this year as people want to make up for lost time. Providing there are no formal restrictions in travel or socialising, millions are ready to spend time with their friends and family.

“While December 23 and Christmas Eve look set to be the busiest travelling days, the change in working practices with increased home working, means we could see a spread of traffic across these days rather than a chaotic evening rush.”

Congestion on motorways

Significant delays are expected on some stretches of motorway, including the M25, the M5 between Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare, and the M6 around Birmingham.

Stretches of the M1 smart motorway from Luton northwards are prone to congestion from accidents or breakdowns, along with the M62 and M60 in the North West.

The M4 and the M27 may also suffer delays, and motorists are being advised to do a full safety check on their vehicle before taking to the wheel.

King said: “Many breakdowns are preventable, so checking your vehicle before you set off is very important. Tyres, fuel, EV range and oil levels, coolant and screen wash checks should be made as a minimum. Likewise keeping water, high-protein food or chocolate, warm clothes, coats and a Hi-Viz jacket will help keep you going should the worst happen.”

Got the presents in the boot? Before setting off, follow the 1st CENTRAL guide to winter car checks to help you reach your destination safe and sound.

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