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Easter Traffic: ‘Carmageddon’ warning for UK

Logistics operations across the UK will be hit by major disruption as the RAC lists the Easter bank holiday traffic spots where roads will be busiest.

More than 14 million trips by car are expected to take place between Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday as the double bank holiday collides with most UK schools breaking up.

The motoring group said journeys on several popular routes could take twice as long at certain peak times for travel, advising drivers to set off late on Thursday or early on Good Friday.

Eight roads have been identified where journey times could be doubled. These include the stretch of the M25 from the M23 for Gatwick to the M1 Hertfordshire, where travelling at 5pm on Thursday will take 2.2 hours, more than double the hour the journey would normally last.

On Good Friday, when the RAC says will see most of the Easter weekend traffic, a lunchtime trip along the M5 from Bristol to Taunton, which would usually take 0.9 hours, will take double that at 1.8 hours.


Predicted: The eight stretches of road worst affected by Easter traffic:


  1. M25 from M23 for Gatwick to M1 Hertfordshire - expected travel time: 2.2 hours vs normal travel time 1.0 hours


  1. M25 from M1 Hertfordshire to M23 for Gatwick - 2.0 hours vs normal travel time 1.1 hours


  1. M5 from Bristol to Taunton - 1.8 hours vs normal travel time 0.9 hours


  1. M3 from the M25 to South Coast - 2.3 hours vs normal travel time 1.3 hours


  1. A590 & A591 from M6 to Lake District - 1.1 hours vs normal travel time 0.7 hours


  1. A303 from Ilminster to Andover - 2.5 hours vs normal travel time 1.3 hours


  1. M5 from Taunton to Bristol - 2.5 hours vs normal travel time 1.1 hours


  1. M55 from Blackpool to Preston - 0.4 hours vs normal travel time 0.2 hours


In a survey of 2,136 drivers' intentions compiled with transport analysis company Inrix, the RAC found that 2.6 million leisure journeys by car will be made on Good Friday, while 2.3 million getaway trips are planned for each of Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday, with two million expected to take place on each of Thursday and Easter Monday. But another 3.3 million trips are planned over the long weekend by drivers who haven't yet decided which day they will travel, meaning a total of about 14.5 million estimated journeys over the five-day holiday period.

The survey has also indicated the best and worst times for travel on each particular day.

On Good Friday, the busiest period will be between 11am and 3pm, with things much quieter after 5pm, the RAC said. On Easter Monday, the worst time to travel is between 10am and midday, with the roads at their least busy after 8pm.

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Alice Simpson said: “With Easter falling earlier than usual at the start of the school holidays, it could be ‘carmageddon’ for holidaymakers.

Published On: 28/03/2024 16:00:00


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