Traffic Warning - Santa's on His Way
It’s the busiest time of the year with Christmas this week – busy in our cities and towns as people rush around buying last minute gifts or stocking up on Christmas treats to eat. With so many people out and about, it’s also the busiest time of the year on our roads here in the UK and it’s estimated that journeys around Christmas time take twice as long as they would at any other time of the year. Inrix, the company that provides traffic and travel data for radio stations in the UK also provides the data for live sat-nav systems and they’ve compiled a list of the busiest days based on historic date combined with recent traffic levels.
The busiest days this coming Christmas week will be Tuesday 23rd and Saturday 27th December with most of Britain’s 35 million vehicles expected to be on the roads during the festive season. This will obviously lead to delays as Christmas traffic peaks around noon on Tuesday 23rd.
It’s not just the last minute shopping that’s causing the extra traffic on the roads – there will be many people driving to spend a few days with family or friends over Christmas. Then comes a lull as things quieten down a little on Christmas day and Boxing Day. Most people will be snuggled up at home, enjoying the festivities and with so many people having a drink or two, the roads will be emptier before picking up again on Saturday 27th as drivers head home again or return to work.
The worst affected roads are likely to be major motorways, including the M1, M25 and M6. The 60-mile section of the M1 northbound. This means that the usual 60 minute journey time could end up taking as long as an hour and a half. The worst delays are likely to be experienced on the M25 anti-clockwise where the stretch of motorway between Junction 23 and Junction 10 may take up to two and a half hours.
All this traffic on the roads means that you’ll need to allow quite a bit of extra time to get to where you’re going – plan your journeys carefully in advance and make sure you have enough time to get there, especially if punctuality is important. The last thing you need at this busy time of the year is the added stress of being stuck in traffic, worrying about getting to a meeting or event on time.
The huge amount of traffic on the roads is also likely to result in more collisions and accidents so extra care and attention will definitely be needed if you’re driving over the festive period. The motorways will be especially dangerous because of the high speeds involved so make sure you leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front. However, it’s not just the motorways that are dangerous – the extra traffic in towns and cities is likely to cause problems too. If you are driving in urban areas, keep an extra eye out for pedestrians as revellers are making their way from one bar to the next or wandering round looking for a cab that can take them home. And don’t forget to keep a lookout for Santa and his reindeer – how would you forgive yourself if you collided with the sleigh and Santa couldn’t complete his deliveries on the most important night of his year.
Take care and enjoy the festivities and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas - we’ll see you in the New Year.