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Journey times could treble thanks to Easter weekend traffic

motorway, cars and vans on major road.

This year’s Easter holidays will see more than 20 million cars on the UK’s roads, with traffic forecasts for Thursday (April 13) and Easter Monday showing a 20% increase in the average number of cars being driven, according to Inrix.

With peaks set to reach 28.4% above average traffic levels at 5pm, up 30% on last year, Thursday (April 13) will be the busiest getaway day this Easter bank holiday, with drivers setting off early for the long weekend.

The worst affected roads on Thursday will be the major motorways, with some journeys taking as much as three times longer than on an average during the evening.

Drivers between junctions 9 and 21 on the M25 (both ways) should expect delays of up to 1 hour and 30 minutes, extending a typical journey from 40 minutes to over two hours, with the average speed falling to 17 miles per hour.

Drivers heading in both directions on the M6 and southbound on the M5 towards the West Country on Maundy Thursday should be prepared for delays of almost an hour and average speeds of less than 25 miles per hour.

Those driving on Thursday are advised by Inrix against using major roads between 4pm and 6pm to avoid the worst delays; but those that do need to travel during these times should seek alternative routes, as the shortest distance will not always be the fastest.

With major roads expected to experience peaks of 8% above average traffic levels by 1pm on Good Friday, drivers are advised to avoid roads during 10am and 2pm.

“With UK drivers spending an average of 30 hours in congestion last year, motorists are no stranger to sitting in traffic,” said Graham Cookson, chief economist and head of research at Inrix.

“We expect significant delays over the Easter period due to a combination of factors, including the regular post-work peak, the start of the school break, people travelling on holiday, railway engineering works and tube closures.

“Our advice to drivers is to consider alternative routes or avoid peak times altogether. By checking live traffic data drivers can ensure they reach their destinations in good time.”

Major motorway journeys may take twice as longer than usual; particularly on the M25 between J9 and J21 which will see delays of up to 55 minutes around lunchtime extending journey times from 40 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes.

With many shops expected to be closed, Easter Sunday remains the quietest day for cars on the road, with 25% less vehicles expected compared to an average Sunday. 

For those choosing to drive back home on Easter Monday, Inrix advises avoiding travelling between 12pm and 5pm, with journeys expected to take up to twice as long as usual during this period. In particular, the M6 between J22 and J16 Southbound is expected to see delays up to 40 minutes on a route which usually takes 30 minutes on an average Monday afternoon.

Railway engineering works and tube closures will impact traffic levels

There will be significant disruption on train lines this Easter with major engineering works on services to/from London Cannon Street, London Charing Cross, and London Liverpool Street.

Train services throughout South East London will be affected and planned closures on major Tube lines, including the Circle, District, Hammersmith and City and Victoria lines, will likely contribute to a higher number of vehicles in and around the capital, especially on major routes like A205.

Works between London Liverpool Street and Ingatestone and London Liverpool Street and Wickford will see increased traffic on the A127 and on major routes in and out of the capital such as A12 and A13.

Outside of London, engineering works and amended services will cause traffic delays on major routes between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool Lime Street, Birkenhead North and Liverpool Central, Bath Spa and Glasgow Central, York and Blackpool North and Church Fenton and Leeds/Selby.   

Volume increase/decrease of vehicles on UK roads over the Easter period

Day

Percentage increase/decrease (number of vehicles)

Maundy Thursday

20% increase

Good Friday

15% increase

Easter Saturday

10% increase

Easter Sunday

25% decrease

Easter Monday

20% increase

 

Thursday, April 13 - UK’s most delayed routes, average journey times and suggested alternative routes 

Maundy Thursday

Route

Dist. (Miles)

Travel Time

Delay

Av.

Speed (mph)

Normal travel time

Worst Time

Alternative Routes

M25 between J9 and J21 (both directions)

39

2h 10m

90 mins

17

40 min

3:30-5:30PM

Non-M’way routes

M6 between J16 and J22 (both directions)

30

1h 20m

50 mins

22

30 min

3:00-5:00PM

A34/A50

M5 Southbound between J14 and Weston-super-Mare

29

1h 15m

45 mins

23

30 min

3:30-5:00PM

A-roads around Bristol

M4 Westbound between J2 and J13

48

1h 35m

45 mins

30

50 min

3:30-5:30PM

M3/A329M

M25 A/C between J4 and Dartford Tunnel

10

0h 55m

40 mins

11

15 min

4:00-5:30PM

A2 / Blackwall Tunnel

M8 Eastbound between J16 and J8

7

0h 40m

30 mins

11

10 min

3:00-5:00PM

M74/M73

A34 Northbound between Abingdon and M40

18

0h 50m

30 mins

22

20 min

3:30-5:00PM

A419 & A429

M60/M62 between J8 Carrington and J20 Rochdale

17

0h 50m

30 mins

20

20 min

4:30-6:00PM

M60/A627M

A303 Andover to Amesbury Westbound

12

0h 45m

30 mins

16

15 min

3:30-5:00PM

A36 and A338

M74 between J4 and J5 Southbound

3

0h 25m

20 mins

7

5 min

3:00-4:30PM

A724/A725

M3 between J2 and J8 Southbound

36

0h 55m

20 mins

39

35 min

4:30-6:00PM

A30

M1 between J6 and J12 Northbound

18

0h 40m

20 mins

27

20 min

3:00-5:00PM

A1M

A55 Westbound between Chester and Conwy

40

1h 00m

20 mins

40

40 min

3:00-4:30PM

None

A1 Southbound between Gosforth Park and Chester-le-Street

15

0h 35m

20 mins

26

15 min

3:30-5:00PM

A19 Tyne Tunnel

 

Easter getaway - best and worst times to travel on Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday 

Day

Best Time to Travel

Worst Time to Travel

Maundy Thursday

Between 10am and 12pm

Between 4pm and 6pm

Good Friday

Before 10am and after 2pm

Between 10am and 2pm

Easter Monday

Before 12pm and after 5pm

Between 12pm and 5pm

 

Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Monday 

Good Friday

Route

Dist. (Miles)

Travel Time

Delay

Av.

Speed (mph)

Normal Travel Time

Worst Time

Alternative Routes

M25 between J9 and J21 (both directions)

39

1h 35m

55 mins

24

40 mins

11:00AM - 1:00PM

Non-M’way routes

 

M6 between J16 and J22 (both directions)

30

1h 10m

40 mins

25

30 mins

11:30AM - 1:30PM

A34/A50

M4 Westbound between J2 and J13

48

1h 30m

40 mins

31

50 mins

11:00AM - 12:30PM

M3/A329M

M5 Southbound between J14 and Weston-super-Mare 

29

1h 05m

35 mins

27

30 mins

12:30PM-2:30PM

A-roads around Bristol

M25 A/C between J4 and Dartford Tunnel

10

0h 45m

30 mins

14

15 mins

11:30AM - 1:30PM

A2 / Blackwall Tunnel

Saturday

Route

Dist. (Miles)

Travel Time

Delay

Av.

Speed (mph)

Normal Travel Time

Worst Time

Alternative Routes

M25 between J9 and J21 (both directions)

39

1h 25m

45 mins

27

40 min

11:30AM - 1:30PM

Non-M’way routes

M5 Southbound between J14 and Weston-super-Mare 

29

1h 10m

40 mins

24

30 min

11:30AM - 2:00PM

A-roads around Bristol

M4 Westbound between J2 and J13

48

1h 30m

40 mins

32

50 min

11:00AM - 12:30PM

M3/A329M

M6 between J16 and J22 (both directions)

30

1h 05m

35 mins

27

30 min

12:00PM-2:00PM

A34/A50

M25 A/C between J4 and Dartford Tunnel

10

0h 35m

20 mins

17

15 min

11:30AM - 1:30PM

A2 / Blackwall Tunnel

Easter Monday

Route

Dist. (Miles)

Travel Time

Delay

Av.

Speed (mph)

Normal Travel Time

Worst Time

Alternative Routes

M6 between J16 and J22 (Southbound)

30

1h 10m

40 mins

25

30 min

3:30-5:00PM

A34/A50

M6 Southbound J37-J34

20

0h 55m

35 mins

22

20 min

2:30-5:00PM

A6

A303 Amesbury to Andover Eastbound

12

0h 45m

30 mins

16

15 min

2:30-4:30PM

A36/ A338

M25 Dartford Crossing (b/ways)

10

0h 45m

30 mins

14

15 min

2:00-4:00PM

A2/A12 & Blackwall Tunnel

M4 Eastbound between J5 and J2

12

0h 30m

15 mins

23

15 min

3:30-5:00PM

A4

 


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Comments

  • Iain - 10/04/2017 21:02

    Pretty pathetic isn't it? 2017 and our roads infrastructure cannot even cope with 'normal' traffic volumes never mind those trying to get away for a short break, but then sure public transport is the answer... NOT! When oh when will someone sit up, smell the coffee and, just for once get a grip on the root cause of our transport requirements for the next generation?

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