Worst times for UK motorists to drive home for Christmas as Brits take to roads

Experts have revealed the worst times to drive home for Christmas.

December 25 is looming and Brits are expected to make a whopping 21 million car trips over the coming days. With the big day falling on a Monday this year, the weekend is set to be a particularly busy time for journeys, reports The Mirror.

More than 3.2million motorists will hit the streets on Friday (December 22) as parents on the school run meet commuters and travellers making the journey to see family, insurance company RAC has claimed. It'll be a similar story on Saturday and Sunday.

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Alice Simpson of the RAC said: "There’s no need for drivers to use annual leave for getaway trips as they can travel over the weekend before. Christmas falls on a Monday this year. For that very reason, our research suggests these days (Saturday and Sunday) will be the busiest times to drive."

Those of us getting behind the wheel this week should leave extra time for our journeys. This is particularly true Saturday and Sunday when motorways and A-roads are likely to be particularly packed – especially in and around London and the southeast of England.

INRIX data expert Bob Pishue warned: "On average, drivers could see travel times up to 20% longer this holiday season. Travellers around Greater London could experience more than double typical drive times."

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Roads will remain busy on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and while serious delays are less likely, around 3.5million journeys are planned across that period. AA president Edmund King also encouraged drivers to carry out vehicle checks before setting off in a bid to avoid a breakdown and make sure journeys run as smoothly as possible.

Worst times to travel and roads to watch:

  • Delays of around 40 minutes between Friday December 22 and Christmas Eve are likely on the M25 clockwise west of London
  • An hour-long queue is expected along the M25 clockwise between the M23 for Gatwick and M40 for Birmingham on December 23
  • Drivers heading anti-clockwise on the M25 between J17 – J12 on December 23 could be waiting for around half an hour
  • The M1 north between Woburn to Daventry and the M6 south from Wigan to Stafford are expected to be extra busy over the weekend
  • The busiest time to travel each day will be 12pm – 2pm
  • The best time to travel will be on December 22 and December 23 before 11am or after 6pm

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