Drivers face worst M25 delays of the weekend TODAY

Drivers face worst M25 delays of the weekend at 2.45pm TODAY with hour-long jams and average speed of 7mph ahead of Frantic Friday when 13m cars take to road for start of summer holidays

  • Worst time on London ‘s orbital motorway expected to be after 2.45pm today 
  • Set to be busiest summer getaway for five years with millions more on the roads
  • Also rail closures and potential strike action hitting Heathrow and Gatwick  

Drivers are facing the worst M25 delays of the weekend today ahead of Frantic Friday, when 13million cars will take to the road for the start of the summer holidays. 

The worst time on London’s orbital motorway is expected to be anticlockwise between Junction 4 and 1 from 2:45pm, with hour-long delays and an average speed of 7mph.  

The RAC is predicting the busiest summer getaway for five years with millions more cars on the roads, and trouble elsewhere in the form of rail closures and strike warnings at Heathrow and Gatwick.

The worst time on the M25 is expected to be anticlockwise between Junction 4 and 1 from 2:45pm, with hour-long delays and an average speed of 7mph.

Research by the RAC and traffic information supplier Inrix indicates that 13.4 million leisure trips will take place by car between Friday and Sunday. The peak spots are shown in this map

Research by the RAC and traffic information supplier Inrix indicates that 13.4 million leisure trips will take place by car between Friday and Sunday.

That is around four million more than the same weekend in 2018 and would represent the largest summer getaway since 2014, according to the analysis.

The worst day of the week for congestion is expected on ‘frantic Friday’ when many school terms end.

Some 5.3 million drivers embarking on day trips or longer breaks will battle for road space with regular commuters.

The M1 southbound from Junction 16 at Northampton to Junction 6 at north Watford is likely to see the longest jams, with delays of one-and-a-half hours.

Hold-ups of around an hour are predicted for the M25 anticlockwise from Junction 4 at Bromley to Junction 1 at Swanscombe/Dartford.

Significant queues are also forecast on the M40, M5 and M6. Drivers are advised to travel after 8pm if possible to avoid the worst of the traffic.

On Saturday, it would be best to avoid the M20 westbound from J7 to J3, which will have 19-minute delays from 9.30am with traffic travelling at 18mph. 

The figure for leisure trips this weekend is around four million more than the same weekend in 2018 and would represent the largest summer getaway since 2014, according to the analysis

Then on Sunday the M1 northbound from J12 to J16 will have 40-minute delays from 1.30pm, with an average speed of 24mph.

Airport users could also be trouble, with 4,000 Unite union workers threatening strikes at Heathrow on Friday and Saturday over a pay dispute. 

At Gatwick, two separate unions are balloting for strike action – also over a pay dispute – with the result announced tomorrow. 

There are also several rail closures across the country to allow for maintenance. Network Rail urged passengers to check before travelling. 

Drivers are being told to carry out basic car checks such as oil, coolant and tyre tread and pressure before embarking on a long trip.

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: ‘The last thing any family wants is a breakdown spoiling the start of their summer holiday they’ve no doubt been looking forward to for a long time.

‘Traffic jams are pretty much guaranteed and while it’s possible to predict where some of these will be, every summer we see extra delays caused by broken down vehicles blocking lanes, leaving drivers faced with hours of frustration.’

Highways England’s head of road safety Richard Leonard added: ‘Breakdowns are still too common. 

‘We’d urge motorists to check their vehicles on a regular basis and this week is really important because we know that many schools break up for summer and people are setting off on holidays and getaways.

‘By doing the correct checks before setting off, motorists can make sure they keep everyone moving which means everyone can reach their destination safely and on time.’     

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