Easter weekend traffic: which roads will be congested


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The Independent Online

As this year's pleasant spring weather looks set to stay, it is predicted that around 16 million drivers in the UK plan to hit the road over the Easter break - potentially causing traffic chaos.

Traffic is expected to pick up as early as Friday 11 April, with many people opting to take next week off as a holiday, according to traffic information specialist Trafficmaster.

Meanwhile, a poll of over 20,000 members of motor insurance firm AA revealed that 55 per cent of their customers plan to drive over Easter weekend.

Popular areas that could be affected include roads around London and South-east England, where 52 per cent of people plan to visit their family, while almost a fifth of people will be making a trip to the West Midlands.

Routes to the countryside and garden centres may also experience congestion, where 33 per cent and almost a quarter of drivers plan to head, respectively.

Congestion will peak on Maundy Thursday, this year falling on 17 April, which is predicted to be the busiest day on the roads so far this year.

According to Trafficmaster, the top five busiest stretches are likely to be:

A303 Westbound from M3/J8 through Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset

M1 From Junction 6A (M25 interchange) to Junction 13; and from Junction 23A to Junction 32 (M18)

M5 From Junction 15 (Almondsbury) towards Junction 31 (Exeter for West Country)

M6 Through West Midlands (from Junction 4A) and northwards towards Lancashire (Junction 21A)

M25 All sections, especially both ways around J14/17 (Heathrow Airport and M4, M40 interchanges)

Easter Sunday (20 April) is generally one of the quietest days on the roads and Easter Monday (21 April) will see heavy homebound traffic from lunchtime onwards, as many schools resume the following day.