Around 19 million cars set to hit the roads this weekend as summer holidays begin

Busy traffic on a road in London.

The sun’s shining, school’s out and summer holidays have officially started, but what plans have you made for the first weekend of the holidays?

Whether you’re travelling to the airport to catch a flight or taking the kids out for the day, you should be prepared for busy roads this weekend.

Frantic Friday kicks off summer

According to the RAC, an estimated 18.82 million separate leisure trips have been planned between Friday and Monday.

Saturday 23 July is set to be the busiest day for drivers, with 4.62 million separate road trips planned. Friday and Sunday aren’t much quieter, with 4.29 million separate trips forecast to be made each day.

Many drivers, however, aren’t yet sure which day of the weekend they’ll be travelling, but their expected journeys will add 5.61 million cars to the roads.

Transport analytics specialists INRIX say the M25 could be the worst route, highlighting stretches between Bromley and the Dartford Crossing, Maple Cross to the M3, and the M23 to the M40.

The A303 near Stonehenge, M4 between Cardiff and Newport and M5 south of Bristol are also likely to be busy.

Travel advice

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “We expect the summer getaway to begin with a bang as a potentially record-breaking number of drivers take to the roads this coming weekend – and that’s despite the unbelievably high cost of fuel.

“With school terms in England and Wales finishing this week and millions of people ready for a well-earned break, we anticipate a ‘frantic Friday’ followed by a woeful weekend on major roads across the country, with traffic and congestion likely peaking on Saturday.

“The advice to drivers heading off on a holiday by car is therefore clear – leave as early as you can in the morning or expect to be sat in some lengthy queues.”

You can also ensure a smooth journey by avoiding the worst motorway(s) in England. Read to find out which motorways are the best and worst.

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