UK traffic

In a jam: 9m drivers expected to bring summer holiday 'carmageddon' to roads this weekend

The RAC has compiled a list of what roads and what times to avoid for a smooth getaway

AS SCHOOL holidays start across the UK and summer “staycations” get under way, a staggering 9m cars are expected on the roads this weekend.

The RAC is warning motorists to expect chaos: delays are predicted to be so severe that the breakdown company is advising drivers to travel at night or in the early hours of the morning if they can.

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Saturday July 22 is likely to be the worst day. It will be the first full day of the six-week school holiday, and 3.4m motorists are expected to make a dash for a well-earned family break.

The RAC asked more than 3,000 drivers about their travel plans this summer. Using their responses as a guide, the RAC forecasts that on Friday July 21 the number of cars on the road will be 2.5m, and on Sunday July 23 there may be nearly 3m journeys.

It also compiled a list of hotspots to avoid, warning anyone travelling between 11am and 4pm to prepare for “carmageddon”.


Traffic hotspots: where jams are most likely at the start of the summer holiday (July 21-23, 2017)

  • M5 Almondsbury interchange and from Bristol to Taunton
  • A30 and A38 Exeter to Cornwall
  • A303 Andover to Ilminster
  • M4 between Cardiff and Swansea
  • M25 between Gatwick and M1
  • A23/M23 to Brighton
  • A34 and M3 south and southwest to the south coast
  • A47 Swaffham to Great Yarmouth
  • A11 Thetford to Norwich
  • M55 between Preston and Blackpool
  • A14 between the Midlands and the east coast
  • A590/A591 between the M6 and the Lake District
  • A66 between M6 and the coast
  • M53 Wallasey to Chester


Predicted 2017 summer holiday leisure journeys by car

Friday 21 July 2.5m journeys
Saturday 22 July 3.4m journeys
Sunday 23 July 2.8m journeys
Total 8.7m journeys


Worst times to travel on the roads

Friday July 21 Between 1pm and 8pm
Saturday July 22 Between 11am and 4pm
Sunday July 23 Between 11am and 4pm