RAC Cars News


Christmas Getaway Roads Nightmare

By raccars Published

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Many families will be carefully planning for a Christmas getaway over the next couple of weeks but beware - 403 separate roadworks projects will be taking place over Christmas week. The roadworks will affect those making car journeys over the festive period but also those planning to fly away, as the M4 motorway used to access Heathrow airport is the worst affected, with 34 separate projects on the go. Travellers using the M4 to get to Heathrow airport during this period are advised to leave extra time to complete their journey.

There's also plenty of misery on the M40 from London to Birmingham, with six disruptive projects taking place as Christmas approaches. The M1, going north from London, will slow down at various spots, while the M25, M5 and M6 will also be slow going in parts.

Data from the Highways Agency was analysed by car insurance provider, Churchill, to work out where motorists are likely to suffer delays this Christmas period. The results showed that of the M4's 34 roadworks projects, 41% or 14 separate projects would cause delays classed as moderate, which means motorists could see up to 30 minutes added to journeys.

Drivers attempting to reach Heathrow airport along the M4 should allow additional time for their journeys and check traffic information before setting off. If you are planning to travel to or around London, you will have to negotiate the 16 separate planned roadworks on the M25 in the week before Christmas, of which two are expected to cause moderate delays of up to 30 minutes.

Outside motorways, the A5 is the worst affected 'A' road, featuring 20 separate roadworks. At least half of these have the potential to delay journeys by up to 30 minutes. Motorists should try to plan ahead and consider using an alternative route, such as the A55 in parts of Wales, where it runs parallel to the A5. The A12 will also cause some misery for drivers thanks to roadworks, while the A1, A421 and A34 aren't expected to be much better.

Most of the trouble is likely to come from lane closures. 173 lane closures are planned from 18 December to Christmas Day, while there will be 134 carriageway closures within the same period. There will be 26 incidences of disruption caused by width restrictions to lanes. Twenty one lane closures will be in effect on the M4, while the M6 and M25 will each have 14 lane closures.

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