Long queues loom for drivers in ‘frantic’ Friday getaway before Christmas weekend | UK News

Drivers have been warned to expect long queues as millions take to the roads ahead of the Christmas weekend.

The AA has said Friday will be the busiest day on the roads this week with an estimated 16.9 million journeys being made across the UK.

A further 16.6 million are expected to be made on Christmas Eve.

Congestion will be further compounded thanks to a strike by thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail, causing train services to finish at around 3pm on Saturday.

Those traveling by air have also been warned to prepare for delays as Border Force workers are also set to strike on Friday.

According to the RAC the roads will be busiest between 10am and 7pm on Friday, the last working day before Christmas.

Roads likely to be most affected congestion include the M25, the M60 near Manchester, the M6 in northwest England and the M40 in Oxfordshire.

Transport analytics company Inrix expects journey times to be around 14% longer compared to the same period last year.

National Highways said almost 98% of England’s motorways and major A-roads will be fully open until the end of 2 January due to it completing and lifting roadworks.

AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: “We are advising those heading out in their cars to be prepared for some congestion, especially on popular routes heading out of London.

“The rail strikes have convinced more people to travel by car this year, and while hundreds of miles of roadworks have been removed to ease the pain, it might not be enough to keep the queues away.”

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said there will be “two frantic days of travelling just before Christmas”.

Inrix transportation analyst Bob Pishue said: “With pre-pandemic levels of travellers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays – especially in and around major cities.”