M40 in Oxfordshire set to be one of UK’s most congested roads in lead up to Christmas
Singer Chris Rea wasn’t alone when he said he would be Driving Home For Christmas in his 1980s hit. Millions of people will be braving Britain’s motorways this week in the lead up to Christmas Day.
An estimated 20 million car trips will be made this week ahead of December 26. According to the RAC, traffic began to build on Monday (December 19) and will peak on Friday, December 23, and Saturday, December 24 – which is Christmas Eve.
It’s bad news for Oxfordshire motorists though, as the M40 in the county is expected to be one of the UK’s most congested roads this week. Transport analytics company Inrix expects journey times to be around 14 per cent longer compared with the same period last year.
As well as the M40, other roads that have been identified as most likely to be hit by congestion are the M25, M60 near Manchester and the M6 in north west England.
The RAC predicts that 7.9 million getaway journeys will be made over the two days immediately before Christmas Day. The worst congestion on those days is expected to be between 10am and 7pm on Friday, and between noon and 1pm on Saturday.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Our research suggests getaway traffic will build steadily all week, culminating in two frantic days of travelling just before Christmas itself. By Friday, we fear it will be a case of jams today and jams tomorrow on the roads as millions of people jump behind the wheel to see family and friends – with last-minute Christmas shoppers as well as the impact of another rail strike also leading to an increase in traffic.
“If possible, drivers should try to make their trips on a quieter day earlier this week if they possibly can.”
An amber traffic warning has already been issued by The AA for Friday and Saturday. They have urged motorists to check their fuel, oil, coolant, screen wash and tyre pressure to avoid a potential any potential breakdown.
The company’s head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: “Breakdowns add to traffic jams, so if everyone spent 10 minutes checking their car before leaving it could save everyone hours on their journey.”