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Peak Christmas Congestion Expected Friday

The RAC have named Friday 22nd December as ‘Frantic Friday’ predicting a clash of commuter and leisure traffic to clash with over 11.5m expected to hit the roads before Christmas Day.

Due to how Christmas Day is falling this year, the RAC have forecast a more even spread of traffic with an average of 1.4m expected to be using the roads to get away before Saturday 23rd December. Just over 1.8m are also expected to brave the roads on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis stated: “The roads are traditionally busy in the run-up to Christmas, especially when you have commuters, commercial and leisure traffic all competing for space.

“Things tend to get worse on the last working day before Christmas, with ‘Frantic Friday’ this year falling on the 22 December – we strongly urge drivers planning long journeys to avoid this day if they possibly can.

"We’re then expecting pre-Christmas leisure trips to peak on Christmas Eve, with getaway traffic combining with the inevitable dashes to the shops for last-minute Christmas presents. Highways England has announced that 99% of England’s strategic roads – that’s motorways and major A-roads – will be free of roadworks by this time which should ease things, but it only takes a single accident or breakdown in some locations to bring traffic grinding to a halt.

“As always, the message to drivers is to plan ahead and try to avoid peak times if you can. Depending on where you live in the UK, schools have been breaking up since Friday 15 December so if you have a chance to complete your journey sooner than the end of next week then it might be a good idea to do that.”

The busiest time on the roads overall is Friday 22nd between 4-8pm, Christmas Eve between 10am-2pm and Boxing Day between 10am-2pm for football matches and people returning home.