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Getaway weekend: When is it best to travel and which routes will have traffic jams?
23 July 2022, 07:46 | Updated: 23 July 2022, 08:32
Millions of journeys will be made by motorists over the weekend as most schools across England and Wales close for the summer holidays.
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Drivers are expecting traffic jams as families zip across the country for a much-needed getaway.
Friday saw huge disruption at Dover as British officials blamed France for the queues, which the French rejected.
But there are more places than Dover that could see jams on Saturday and Sunday.
Where will be the worst places to travel?
Motoring group the RAC has predicted the worst-affected routes for Saturday and Sunday.
A303 westbound past Stonehenge: 27 min delays late morning.
M25 clockwise J7 for the M23 to J16 for the M40: 52 min delays around middle of the day.
M5 south J15 Almondsbury Interchange to J23 for A38 Bridgwater: 47 min delays around middle of the day.
M25 anticlockwise J17 Maple Cross to J12 for the M3: 36 min delays around middle of the day.
M25 clockwise J7 for the M23 to J16 for the M40: 45 min delays around middle of the day.
Traffic builds on the M5 near Bristol as the summer getaway begins
M25 anticlockwise J4 Bromley to Dartford Crossing: 31 min delays mid-afternoon.
M25 anticlockwise J17 Maple Cross to J12 for the M3: 26 min delays mid-afternoon.
What times should I travel to avoid queues?
While different routes will get busier at different times, as above, the RAC has set out the best times to travel as a general rule across the getaway weekend.
It recommends making your journeys before 9am and after 4pm for the best times to travel.
The worst times to get around will be between 10am and 3pm.
On Sunday, it will be best to travel before 10am and after 8pm, and the worst times will be between 11am and 6pm.
Why will traffic be so bad?
With most schools in England and Wales breaking up, it’s expected millions of trips will be made this weekend.
Including journeys estimated for Friday, it is thought some 18m leisure trips will be made until Monday.
Almost 5m will be made on Saturday and again on Sunday.
RAC research suggests a third year for a big British “staycation” this summer, beginning in the Covid pandemic that made it harder or impossible to travel abroad.