Roll up, roll up for holiday M-way misery

The getaway drivers who didn't believe the argument that it's quicker by train
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MOTORISTS escaping for Bank Holiday weekend breaks faced motorway tail-backs of up to 25 miles yesterday as cars backed up along the M5 between Almondsbury and Weston-super-Mare.

More congestion is predicted for the next two days with delays expected on the M4, M6, M25 and London's A406 North Circular Road.

AA Roadwatch said drivers should avoid roads surrounding the M4 elevated section, west London, which is closed for maintenance in both directions until Tuesday. Congestion around that area is aggravated further by closure of the North Circular Road between Kew Bridge and the Hanger Lane gyratory system at Chiswick, west London.

The M6 between the Birmingham NEC and the M54 interchange was heavily congested yesterday, the RAC said. Holidaymakers using the A1 in North Yorkshire were also delayed by tail-backs, as were those going south on the M3. Roads in East Anglia will have tail-backs again today as the two- day air show at RAF Mildenhall ends.

Football fans travelling to London for league play-offs are expected to generate heavy traffic today and tomorrow around Wembley.

Sports events further afield are also generating extra travellers. Birmingham airport was busier than usual yesterday as Irish rugby fans left to watch their national team play New Zealand in South Africa. But the avid supporters only went as far as Dublin.

"They could have watched the match on television at home, but they prefer to catch it in their favourite pub in Ireland because they enjoy the crack so much," said Chris Carty, sales executive for Aer Lingus in Birmingham. He said it was impossible to get a seat on a flight to Ireland yesterday.

"It's not just because of the Bank Holiday," Mr Carty said. "There's something quite unique about a rugby weekend in Dublin. Okay, so the big game's not being played at Lansdowne Road, but I doubt if that will make any difference to the crack in the pubs over there.

"I'd like to join them myself, but I can't get a ticket on my own airline this weekend - and the two carriers between them operate a dozen flights a day."