Christmas travel: RAC warns drivers to avoid travelling on "Frantic Friday" 22 December with getaway gridlock expected on the roads

 
Rebecca Smith
The 22 December is expected to be traffic-laden as commuters cross paths with those heading home for christmas
The 22 December is expected to be traffic-laden as commuters cross paths with those heading home for christmas (Source: Getty)

The RAC has warned that "Frantic Friday" is looming on 22 December, marking the day bumper traffic is expected due to last-day commuters travelling as drivers head home for Christmas.

The day is predicted to see up to 1.25m leisure journeys on top of those leaving work, and the RAC has told motorists planning long journeys to avoid the date if possible.

In total, up to 11.5m getaway trips are expected ahead of Christmas Day, with Christmas Eve another day circled for congestion. A total of 1.87m leisure journeys are expected on the day.

Read more: These will be the worst dates and routes for Christmas traffic this year

As for particular times to avoid, RAC Traffic Watch data predicts 10am to 2pm on Christmas Eve to be particularly busy.

Ahead of the expected travel rush, Highways England has announced that 99 per cent of England's motorways and major A-roads will be free of roadworks during the festive run-in. An additional 400 miles of road among popular routes will be open during the most hectic period in an effort to improve journeys from 22 December to 2 January.

More lanes will be open and many temporary speed restrictions will be lifted, but RAC traffic spokesperson Rod Dennis warned drivers that, "it only takes a single accident or breakdown in some locations to bring traffic grinding to a halt".

He said:

As always, the message to drivers is to plan ahead and try to avoid peak times if you can. Depending on where you live in the UK, schools have been breaking up since Friday 15 December so if you have a chance to complete your journey sooner than the end of next week then it might be a good idea to do that.

Don't let an avoidable breakdown get in the way of you reaching your destination this Christmas. A few moments now spent checking the condition of your car could save hours stuck in the dark.

Read more: South Western Railway and Greater Anglia face strikes over Christmas

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