Saturday, August 6, 2022

BEAT THE RUSH Best travel times revealed as Brits face worst travel weekend amid RAC warning of holiday chaos

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THE best times for people to take to the streets have been announced after the RAC warned of bank holiday chaos in many parts of the UK.

The Automobile Association said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday.

That’s the highest since the company began tracking summer vacation numbers in 2014.

Traffic jams and mile-long traffic jams are expected on major routes across the country and are not expected to ease throughout the weekend.

The worst travel time is on Friday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

And the RAC warned against avoiding the roads between 11am and 3pm and 11am and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Transport analysis firm Inrix predicted that the M25 – London’s ring road – will experience some of the worst congestion due to the summer holiday, with the routes between Bromley and the Dartford Crossing being singled out; Maple Cross and the M3; and the M23 to the M40.

Congestion is likely to occur on the A303 at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, on the M4 between Cardiff and Newport in South Wales and on the M5 south of Bristol.

Drivers of the M11 at Cambridge also stood in huge queues in both directions

Leisure traffic levels are expected to peak tomorrow at 4.62 million separate road trips, but Friday and Sunday are expected to be not far behind at 4.29 million separate trips each day.

An estimated 5.61 million extra car journeys will take place between “busy Friday” and the end of Sunday, when millions take to the streets after children in England and Wales head off for the summer holidays.

The RAC and Inrix recommend drivers to plan well in advance and start their journeys either very early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the inevitable queues, some of which will form quickly.

The RAC’s research suggests that the UK could face its third consecutive major ‘staycation summer’ after the summers caused by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, although extremely high fuel prices could have an impact – either by reducing numbers of motorists in the UK do or discourage people from continuing to drive into continental Europe.

A “critical incident” was also reported from the Port of Dover over six-hour queues, with tourists being urged to consider staying away.

A lorry driver said delays in Dover meant tourist and freight traffic was stuck on gridlocked roads in the area.

One Twitter user wrote just before 7am it was “total standstill”, another said they had “waited for five hours and still not in port”, adding: “Sat in the alleys waiting for to get to the border control. Zero movement.”

A serious collision between a van and a lorry also resulted in the M20 being closed in Kent.

National Highways South-East said the delays between exit 11 and exit 12 were “serious.”

Ferry operator P&O Ferries urged passengers to allow at least five hours to clear access roads and security checkpoints.

Passengers have been advised to take extra water and snacks, ensure they have enough fuel in their tanks and urged not to attempt any return routes to the port amid concerns of worsening congestion, particularly for local residents.

He queued in his lorry in Dover at 6pm on Thursday and was still waiting to cross the English Channel after 10am on Friday morning.

“I’ve been in something like this before, but this is the worst,” he said.

The Port of Dover has attacked French authorities over “lamentably under-staffed” border control staff, and local MP Natalie Elphicke has claimed that French border guards “didn’t show up for work”.

The port said resources at the French border had increased on Friday morning and traffic was starting to move slowly, “but it will take time to clear the backlog”.

Mr Bannister said the port had been sharing “granular details” on expected traffic levels “on an hourly basis” to avoid such disruption.

He apologized for the situation on Friday – one of the busiest times for international travel from the UK as most schools in England and Wales reopen for the summer – and said they had been “abandoned” by French authorities.

THE best times for people to take to the streets have been announced after the RAC warned of bank holiday chaos in many parts of the UK.

The Automobile Association said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday.

That’s the highest since the company began tracking summer vacation numbers in 2014.

Traffic jams and mile-long traffic jams are expected on major routes across the country and are not expected to ease throughout the weekend.

The worst travel time is on Friday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

And the RAC warned against avoiding the roads between 11am and 3pm and 11am and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Transport analysis firm Inrix predicted that the M25 – London’s ring road – will experience some of the worst congestion due to the summer holiday, with the routes between Bromley and the Dartford Crossing being singled out; Maple Cross and the M3; and the M23 to the M40.

Congestion is likely to occur on the A303 at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, on the M4 between Cardiff and Newport in South Wales and on the M5 south of Bristol.

Drivers of the M11 at Cambridge also stood in huge queues in both directions

Leisure traffic levels are expected to peak tomorrow at 4.62 million separate road trips, but Friday and Sunday are expected to be not far behind at 4.29 million separate trips each day.

An estimated 5.61 million extra car journeys will take place between “busy Friday” and the end of Sunday, when millions take to the streets after children in England and Wales head off for the summer holidays.

The RAC and Inrix recommend drivers to plan well in advance and start their journeys either very early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the inevitable queues, some of which will form quickly.

The RAC’s research suggests that the UK could face its third consecutive major ‘staycation summer’ after the summers caused by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, although extremely high fuel prices could have an impact – either by reducing numbers of motorists in the UK do or discourage people from continuing to drive into continental Europe.

The Automobile Association said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday.

A lorry driver said delays in Dover meant tourist and freight traffic was stuck on gridlocked roads in the area.

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