The best and worst times to travel this Easter long weekend as 27million cars hit the road
MORE than 27million cars will flood UK roads over the Easter break, new research has revealed.
Drivers across the country will hit the road as early as today in a bid to dodge heavy traffic expected over the weekend.
According to data from the RAC and INRIX, an estimated 15million vehicles will make leisure journeys in the lead up to the long weekend.
And traffic is tipped to peak on Good Friday, with 4.4million additional journeys expected to take place.
But motorists can expect a slight reprieve over the following days, with 2.8million drivers setting off on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Brits making their return trips home on Monday could battle traffic jams over lunchtime, with 2.2million vehicles expected on the road.
Best and worst times to travel on UK roads this Easter
- Best: Before 11am or after 9pm
- Worst: 2.30pm to 7pm
- Best: Before 9.30am or after 7pm
- Worst: 11am to 4.30pm
- Best: Before 9.30am or after 5pm
- Worst: 11am to 2pm
- Best: Before 10am or after 3.30pm
- Worst: 11am to 12.30pm
- Best: Before 10.30am or after 6.30pm
- Worst: 12.30pm to 2.30pm
For those trying to beat the queues by setting off on Thursday, congestion is expected to peak between 2.30pm to 7pm.
Drivers face an hour delay on the M25 clockwise between J8 to J16 on Thursday from 1.45pm, while anti-clockwise trips on the M25 between J20 and J11 could take 50 extra minutes from 4.30pm.
You’ll have to leave before 9.30am or wait until 7pm on Friday if you want to beat the crowd, with congestion peaking between 11am and 4.30pm.
Friday traffic will be at its worst on the M62 west between J27 and J18, with a 56-minute delay from 12.45pm.
Drivers can expect heavy traffic on Saturday between 11am to 2pm, with expected delays on the M4 west between J22 and J29.
Sections of the M25 are also likely to be slow between J4 and J30 on both Sunday and Monday, while the A303 west between Amesbury and Chicklade usually sees delays.
Tips for dealing with traffic jams
- Travel time: Most traffic queues are caused by too many cars on the same roads at the same time. If you can travel outside the peak times, you can easily miss them.
- Be prepared: Make sure you conduct all necessary service checks on your motor before you set off. Many summer breakdowns are avoidable – punctures for instance can be caused by a tyre that is in poor condition or just not inflated properly. And ageing batteries can struggle in lots of stop-start traffic.
- Keep it fresh: Hungry, thirsty or tired passengers are recipes for in-car irritability – and ‘carguments’. So when setting out, pack enough food and water to keep your passengers happy, and add in enough breaks along the way.
On Easter Sunday, traffic will be its worst from 11am to 12.30pm, while roads on Monday are expected to be packed until at least 2.30pm.
Motorists are encouraged to leave as early as 10am or after 6.30pm on both days to avoid gridlock.
Rod Dennis, traffic watch spokesperson at RAC, said: “This week we’re expecting a significant second wave of Easter getaway traffic, following that which we saw at the start of April when schools broke up.
“This will mean the coming week and the bank holiday will likely be characterised by lengthy queues in some spots.
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“Traffic jams are frustrating at the best of times and while we can predict where some of these will crop up, it only takes a single bump or breakdown for huge tailbacks to form.
“But there’s a lot drivers can do to reduce the likelihood their car will fail them, and in fact a lot of the breakdowns our patrols attend are completely avoidable if drivers had checked over their cars before they set out.
“Wrongly inflated tyres, or those with a lack of tread, along with low oil and coolant levels and even a lack of fuel are all typical breakdowns at this time of year.
“It’s therefore vital motorists spend a few moments checking these things before getting behind the wheel.”