May half term travellers are being warned to plan ahead as National Highways tries to clear roadworks in time for Jubilee
Travellers hoping to get away for the combined half term break and long Jubilee weekend are being warned to plan ahead and expect some delays.
Unlike Easter where school holiday dates were staggered across the country - breaking up any potential for a mass travel rush - May's half term combined with the four-day bank holiday at the end of the same week has squeezed people's plans into one short and very specific time frame.
There are predictions that today and tomorrow will see very heavy traffic on England's major routes as thousands of holiday makers make their escape once schools break up for the week, while large numbers of Liverpool fans are also en route to their team's big game in Paris.
Cross channel operator DFDS is already forewarning of a busy weekend at the Port of Dover, with those trying to cross to France being warned to allow an additional two hours to complete the check-in process and pass through border controls.
National Highways says it plans to lift more than 1,000 miles of roadworks in the next few days to try and enable motorists to enjoy smoother journeys as the country approach's next week's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which officially start on Thursday, June 2.
Road chiefs hope to have 98% of England's major A roads and motorway networks free from works between Wednesday, June 1 and Monday, June 6 to help ease congestion.
The advice from National Highways is for motorists to check their cars before setting off to avoid any potential for a breakdown that could have been avoided and which might add to delays.
Dave Harford, traffic officer, said his teams expect the roads to be busy.
He added: Our traffic officer patrols will be out on the network to help anyone who might get into difficulty, but it’s important people remember to check their vehicle before setting off.
"The last thing anybody wants on the way to their destination is to have a vehicle breakdown. That’s why it’s really important people spend a few minutes checking the condition of their tyres before setting off."
Looking ahead to next week, breakdown service Green Flag says it expects 834,000 cars are likely to hit the roads over the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
It is warning that with millions of people planning Jubilee street parties and community celebrations, drivers must be prepared for some unexpected road closures and changes to routes.
Mark Newberry, commercial director at Green Flag, said: "The upcoming Jubilee weekend is a great reason to celebrate and get together with neighbours, friends, and family. The extra day off means many of us will be planning trips away to make the most of the four-day weekend.
"We want to ensure everyone can enjoy the celebrations without any added stress or complications, so we’re urging drivers to check their route for any road closures and be aware of any obstructions or pedestrians that may be in the street."