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Transport analytics firm Inrix has said that with Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year, the busiest days for traffic will occur from Wednesday 20 December to Friday 22nd December. With a wave of drivers predicted to try and beat the getaway traffic, Inrix warned that many will face delays.
Congestion is also expected after Christmas, particularly on Wednesday 27 December, according to Inrix, which is expecting a rising number of vehicles on the roads as people hunt out high street sales, as well as visit friends and family, and return from Christmas breaks.
With lots of motorists driving further than they would normally over the Christmas season, Trusted Dealers is urging motorists to take care on the road and remember a few golden rules.
Check the weather
With the weather becoming increasingly unpredictable at this time of year, it is essential to always prepare for the worst. Make sure you carry the essential items needed in the event of a winter breakdown. For more information, check out our Guide to Winter Driving.
Tyre-related issues are the second most common reason for a call to the emergency services over the festive period, so it is well worth performing a maintenance check of your tyres before setting off on any longer journey. Tyre pressure is particularly important, check your manufacturer’s handbook to find the correct settings for your vehicle – there will typically be 2 pressure provided, one of which refers to a fully laden car.
Book a service
There are some checks you can make yourself such as checking your lights are all working, checking you have sufficient screen wash and that your water and oil are at the correct levels and making sure your windscreen wipers are in full working order. However, if you think your car might need a more thorough check, you can book a routine service one of our Trusted Dealers to avoid the risk of a winter breakdown.
The AA quoted flat batteries as one of the biggest causes of winter breakdowns. Many drivers fail to realise that the cold conditions can put a real strain on your battery – in winter we use our lights, wipers and heater much more than the warmer months. Car batteries have a shelf life of around 5 years, so if you know your battery is approaching that ages or has exceeded it, it is worth investing in a new one.
Highways England, which manages England’s motorways and major A roads, has said it will complete or lift 448 miles of roadworks by 6am on December 23 in a bid to ease the Christmas getaway. However, if you’re embarking on a long journey, you are more than likely to hit a few slow spots, so it’s well worth obtaining a reliable traffic update before you set off. Cityam.com has provided a list below of the UK’s most delayed routes and anticipated average journey times:
|Date||Route||Distance in miles||Predicted journey time||Freeflow (no congestion)||Total delay||Peak time|
|20/12/17||M25, anti-clockwise||31.29||Two hours 28 minutes||26 minutes||Two hours two minutes||16:15|
|20/12/17||M25, anti-clockwise||33.9||One hour 22 minutes||28 minutes||54 minutes||08:00|
|20/12/17||M4, westbound||15.05||46 minutes||16 minutes||30 minutes||16:30|
|21/12/17||M6, southbound||65.32||Five hours 20 minutes||59 minutes||Four hours 21 minutes||14:30|
|21/12/17||M3, westbound||16.86||One hour 38 minutes||18 minutes||One hour 19 minutes||00:45|
|21/12/17||M74, southbound||14.96||50 minutes||16 minutes||34 minutes||18:00|
|22/12/17||M1, northbound||58.7||Two hours eight minutes||53 minutes||One hour 15 minutes||11:00|
|22/12/17||M1, southbound||44.77||Two hours 12 minutes||41 minutes||One hour 30 minutes||12:15|
|22/12/17||M1 (Northern Ireland), westbound||40.33||One hour 36 minutes||38 minutes||58 minutes||17:15|
|22/12/17||M1 (Northern Ireland), eastbound||40.24||One hour 12 minutes||37 minutes||35 minutes||16:45|
|22/12/17||A720, eastbound||12.67||31 minutes||12 minutes||19 minutes||12:45|