Roads to avoid during Christmas as millions prepare for holiday journeys

Traffic jam during heavy snowfall in Brighton.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and the busiest.

UK roads are soon to be heaving with traffic as families travel to spend Christmas with their loved ones, but what areas will be busiest?

Here are some of the roads and days you may want to avoid travelling on.

A slow festive getaway

According to the AA, 23 and 24 December will be the busiest days for travel, with each of those days seeing nearly 17 million cars on the roads.

A survey of more than 12,000 motorists found that 51% plan to make a car journey on 23 December, and 50% plan to make one the following day.

The busiest roads are likely to be:

  • M25
  • M5 between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare
  • M6 around Birmingham
  • M1 from Luton northwards
  • M60 and M62 in northwest England
  • M4 which runs between west London and southwest Wales
  • M27 in Hampshire

If possible, you may want to avoid travelling on 23 and 24 December or leave at a time when roads are less likely to be busy.

Disruption is also being caused by strikes over the holiday period. National Highways workers, who operate and maintain roads in England, will take part in a series of staggered strikes from 16 December to 7 January, while Network Rail will be striking from 6pm Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27 (and into the new year).

As a result, drivers should expect the roads to be far busier than normal.

Help is on hand

As the weather gets chillier, AA president Edmund King has said: “Our expert patrols will be working throughout the holidays to help fix cars that suffer problems, while providing assistance to drivers should they be involved in a crash.

He has also advised that “many breakdowns are preventable, so checking your vehicle before you set off is very important.”

Find out what safety checks you should be carrying out when driving in cold weather conditions – read more here.

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