Drivers warned of 'inevitable delays' and traffic chaos over bank holiday weekend

A busy motorway

Drivers could face lengthy delays over the bank holiday weekend

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 22/08/2023

- 08:41

Updated: 22/08/2023

- 09:35

Traffic experts are urging motorists to avoid certain times of the day when traffic chaos may be more likely

Drivers are being warned of traffic chaos over the bank holiday weekend next weekend, with more than 14 million journeys expected.

New data has found that 14.4 million leisure trips are planned between Friday, August 25 and Monday, August 28, which is the last bank holiday until Christmas Day.

This is a dramatic increase compared to last year, with a rise of 1.8 million additional drivers on the road.

The most congested motorways on Friday are expected to be the M1 northbound between junctions 12 and 16, the M25 clockwise between junctions four and one, and the M4 eastbound from junctions 29 to 24.

Busy traffic

More than 14 million leisure trips are set to take place


With the fall in petrol and diesel prices compared to the record prices seen last summer, more drivers could be likely to travel over the long weekend.

Commenting on the fuel price drop, RAC spokesperson Simon Williams said more drivers would be making the most of the last bank holiday of the summer.

He added: “And if the weather is kind, even more people may decide to take trips, swelling numbers on the road further still and possibly adding to the inevitable delays.

“Those looking to have uninterrupted journeys should aim to travel very early to beat the jams, or if that’s not possible, much later in the day if they’re planning to be travelling on Friday.

“With breakdown numbers already well exceeding previous years, we’re urging drivers to do all they can to avoid finding themselves broken down at the side of the road by carrying out a few essential vehicle checks before setting off.”

Drivers may also see dramatic disruption on Saturday, August 26, with the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union holding industrial action affecting train services.

The transport analysis company Inrix has warned drivers to avoid major roads at peak times over the weekend.

This includes between 10am and 7pm on Friday, between 10am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, and between 10am and 4pm on Monday.

Bob Pishue, analyst at Inrix, said: "We expect this bank holiday weekend to be very busy on major roads, with Friday and Saturday seeing the longest delays compared to normal.

“While the most significant delays over the three days are going to be on the M25 and M1, routes to the West will inevitably be badly affected too.”

The number of vehicles may be heightened especially around London, with Network Rail using the long weekend to carry out rail maintenance.

Services at London Euston will be limited from 8pm on Saturday until Tuesday as a result of track renewals and signalling upgrades.


Busy traffic

Roads may be busier as a result of rail strikes


Other major train stations in the capital will also be affected, namely Charing Cross and Waterloo East, where no trains will be running on Saturday or Sunday.

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