Fleet News

August bank holiday traffic warning as weather improves

Fleet news logo

Fleets are being warned that the August bank holiday traffic is expected to be at its busiest on Friday, with five million leisure trips planned.

New research, conducted by the RAC and Inrix, says that Friday and Saturday are expected to be the busiest days, with a combined 9.4m trips on across the two days, followed by bank holiday Monday itself with around 3.7m separate leisure journeys.

However, given the weather looks set to be good over the bank holiday weekend, the reality is there may be even more trips taken.

Transportation analytics specialists Inrix indicates some of the worst major roads for delays will include the M25 anticlockwise (between J1 and J4) and the M6 north (between J18 and J24) on Friday, and the M6 south (between J27 and J13) on Monday, with delays of up to an hour on each of these stretches.

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: “For many people, this coming weekend is the last chance to enjoy a long weekend this side of Christmas – and with the weather improving that’s likely to mean a lot of cars on the road heading to popular tourist destinations.”

To help ease the congestion, Highways England announced that it will remove more than 480 miles of roadworks on motorways and major A-roads over the August bank holiday.

The roadworks will be lifted by Friday (August 23) meaning around 97% of England’s motorway and major A-roads, the strategic road network, will be free from roadworks.

Melanie Clarke, Highways England’s customer service director, said: “We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible and that’s why we’re keeping 97% of the road network we manage, free from roadworks.

“Safety is our top priority and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before setting off over this period.”

Highways England traffic officers will also be on patrol to help clear any incidents.

Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at Inrix, said: “Bank holidays have historically been one of the busiest times for road trips, and this year drivers could even see record-level travel delays.

“Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

Guide to travel this August bank holiday weekend


Planned leisure trips by car

Major roads likely to be particularly busy between

Best times to be on the road

Expected longest delays on major roads (breakdowns or collisions can significantly increase journey times across the road network)

Friday 23 August


11am to 6.30pm

After 9pm

M25 anticlockwise J4 Bromley to J1 Swanscombe/Dartford: 55-minute delay around 3.15pm

M6 north J18 Northwich/Chester to J24 St Helens: 54-minute delay around 2pm

Saturday 24 August


10.30am to 2pm

After 4pm

M6 north J22 Newton/Leigh to J26 Liverpool: 21-minute delay around 3.45pm

M25 anticlockwise J4 Bromley to J1 Swanscombe/Dartford: 21-minute delay around 1.45pm

Sunday 25 August


12.30pm to 2pm

Before 10.30am, after 6.30pm

M25 clockwise J7 Gatwick Airport to J16 (for M40): 26-minute delay around 1.30pm

A303 West Amesbury to A36: 22-minute delay around 5pm

Monday 26 August


12pm and 2.30pm

Before 11am, after 6pm

M6 south J27 Wigan to J13 Stafford south: 61-minute delay around 2.15pm

M25 anticlockwise J10 London/Guildford to J6 East Grinstead: 18-minute delay around 2.45pm

Total Friday to Monday






Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee