Traffic analyst INRIX is warning of lengthy delays over the Easter weekend with drivers in the South West and North West of England expected to face the longest delays.
Holidaymakers returning from the South West on Easter Monday could face up to a two-hour delay on a typical 30-minute journey between junction 20 and junction 15 of the M5, with traffic building heavily from 11am and peaking at 4pm.
Meanwhile, those heading to popular theme parks Thorpe Park and Alton Towers may face a much slower ride home, with troublesome bottlenecks and holiday traffic combining on the M6 and M25 to create double the normal congestion levels. Worse still, drivers heading home through J11-J14 on the M25 on Easter Monday could face delays up to 11 times longer than normal.
Here is a snapshot of travel hotspots this Easter:
Maundy Thursday, March 28, 2013: Midlands travellers should avoid M6 traffic peak from 4pm – 6pm
- The M6 in the Midlands will be the worst hit on Maundy Thursday where drivers are likely to experience journey times double, if not triple, the average.
- Meanwhile, further north up the M6, drivers should allow for at least a 10-minute delay on top of a 30-minute journey.
Good Friday. March 29, 2013: Traffic builds from 10am and peaks at midday
- On Friday the London exodus really begins, with traffic in the South East expected to reach its peak between 11.30am and 1.30pm.
- During peak hours drivers using the south west quadrant of the M25 could face 56 minutes of extra travel time on a route that would take 30 minutes in normal conditions.
- Drivers travelling through the West Country should aim to leave before 11am or after 4pm
Easter Monday, April 1, 2013: Holidaymakers should avoid congestion by leaving before 10am
- Congestion in the South West will build from 11am and peak at 4pm when a typical 30 minute trip could take as much as two hours more.
- In the North West traffic is expected to peak slightly later from 12 noon to 4pm as travellers return from the Lake District to the Midlands.
- Thrill seekers heading to Thorpe Park via the M25 between junctions 11 and 14 may have a much slower end to their day, with congestion levels increasing 11 fold on Easter Monday.