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Record-level traffic delays expected over August bank holiday weekend - experts reveal the best time to travel

The RAC estimate more than 16 million cars will hit the road over the bank holiday weekend, as the traffic chaos begins today.

Drivers are urged to leave in the evening to avoid lengthy delays, with motorways expected to be at their busiest between 11am and 6.30pm. The best time to travel today is 7pm, according to RAC.

For those returning from their trips on Sunday, the best time to travel is before 10.30am or after 6.30pm, while the worst is between 12.30pm and 2pm.

Bank Holiday Monday causes travel chaos for road users.
Bank Holiday Monday causes travel chaos for road users.

For those returning on Monday, the best time to travel is before 11am or after 6pm, while the worst is between 12pm and 2.30pm.

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: “For many people, this coming weekend is the last chance to enjoy a long weekend this side of Christmas – and with the weather improving that’s likely to mean a lot of cars on the road heading to popular tourist destinations.

“A lot of the breakdowns we expect to see this weekend are preventable, so it’s vital drivers check over their car before setting out. Tyres with plenty of tread and properly inflated are far less likely to cause drivers problems, and it’s crucial that oil and coolant are at the right levels too. All are quick, easy things to check and can save drivers the hassle of a breakdown at the roadside.”

Traffic on the A1, near Fernwood.
Traffic on the A1, near Fernwood.

“Bank holidays have historically been one of the busiest times for road trips, and this year drivers could even see record-level travel delays,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX.

“Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

Melanie Clarke, Highways England’s customer service director, said: “We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible and that’s why we’re keeping 97 per cent of the road network we manage, free from roadworks.

“Safety is our top priority and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before setting off over this period.”

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