Jubilee weekend travel

Major ‘getaway’ routes expected to very busy this Friday afternoon and Saturday

29 May 2012

major getaway routes expected to very busy this Friday afternoon and Saturday

major getaway routes expected to very busy this Friday afternoon and Saturday

The major ‘getaway’ routes are expected to very busy this Friday afternoon and Saturday, as people head off for the Jubilee bank holiday weekend and start of school half-term, according to AA Roadwatch and traffic information specialist Trafficmaster.

Traffic is expected to build up from mid-afternoon on Friday (1 June), and Saturday (2 June) will remain busy, especially between 10:00 and 16:00.

However, Trafficmaster predicts traffic to be lighter on Sunday, Bank Holiday Monday and Jubilee Day (3-5 June) with delays mostly the result of local Jubilee and leisure events, many brought forward to avoid the Olympic Games period.

Top five congestion hotspots

According to Trafficmaster the main hotspots are likely to be:

  • A303 from M3 through Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset
  • M5 from Almondsbury (M4) to Exeter (J31)
  • M3/M27/A31 from Winchester (J9) to Dorset coast
  • M6 between Junction 11A (M6 Toll), through Staffordshire and Cheshire into Lancashire
  • M25 Western Sector between M1 interchange (Junction 21) and M3 interchange (Junction 12)

With many people taking next week off, next Sunday (10 June) will see heavy homeward bound traffic with commuters benefiting from quieter roads throughout the rest of next week.

London

There will be several road and bridge closures over the weekend and TfL is advising drivers not to drive into London unless you have to.

Public transport is expected to be busier than normal too.

Diamond Jubilee travel advice from TfL »

Closer to home

Overall, the latest AA/Populus poll of 18,636 AA members* shows that people are more likely to be staying at, or closer to, home this Jubilee weekend (2-5 June) than at Easter. 47 per cent of AA members said they are likely to drive somewhere on holiday or on an outing this weekend (equating to around 13 million cars), compared to 54 per cent at Easter (around 15 million cars).

Having a party

As the country prepares to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the AA/Populus results reveal that 14 per cent of respondents say that a street near them is being closed for a street party or similar event. The regions most likely to be holding a street party are:

London  20%
South-east  19%
South-west   18%
West Midlands   15%
East Midlands   15%
Eastern   15%
Wales   13%
North-west    10%
North-east    8%
Yorkshire & Humberside   7%
Scotland   3%
National average   14%

While the engine is cold, spend a few minutes doing the basic checks on your car like tyre pressures, oil, coolant, windscreen wash and lights. These checks don’t take long and could save a bank holiday breakdown

Andy Smith, AA patrol of the year

Breakdown prevention

Andy Smith says: “Before you head off and while the engine is cold, spend a few minutes doing the basic checks on your car like tyre pressures, oil, coolant, windscreen wash and lights.

“It’s also worth checking the operation of the cooling fan, as although the weather is forecast to be substantially cooler over the next few days, the sun doesn’t have to be beating down for your car to overheat, especially if you’re stuck in traffic.

“It’s usually caused by the cooling fan seizing, which you can check by setting the car heater to cold and running the car to normal temperature and then allowing the engine to idle for five to 10 minutes – you should hear the fan cut in automatically. If it doesn’t there may be a fault with the fan temperature sensor or the fan itself.

“Although it’s always tempting to just rush off, these checks don’t take long and could save a bank holiday breakdown.”

Jubilee bank holiday traffic hotspots

Routes to the South-west are likely to be busiest with more caravan traffic expected and, depending on the weather, some delays are likely on roads to the coast and national parks.

According to Trafficmaster, on Friday afternoon (1 June) and during the 10:00-16:00 period on Saturday (2 June), expect very heavy traffic on the following ‘getaway’ and commuter routes:

M25 Western Sector both ways between Junction 10 (A3 interchange) and Junction 21 (M1 interchange), especially around Junctions 14/15 (Heathrow Airport).
M25 both ways around Dartford River Crossing:  Junctions 28 (A12) to Junction 31 (A13) and Junction 3 (A20) to Junction 1A (Dartford North) 
M5 from Junction 15 (M4 interchange) to Junction 31 (Exeter South).
A303 from M3 Junction 8 to A30 at Upottery.
A30 from M5 Junction 31 at Exeter throughout Devon and Cornwall
A38 from M5 Junction 31 at Exeter to Plymouth
M3 from Junction 2 (M25 interchange) to Junction 8 (A303 interchange)
M3 from Junction 9 (A34 interchange) to Junction 14 (M27 interchange)
M27 from Junction 4 (M3 interchange) to Junction 1 (A31)
A31 from M27 Junction 1 to Ringwood, Dorchester and Dorset coast.
A21 from M25 Junction 5 to Sussex coast at Hastings.
M20 towards Channel Tunnel and Channel ferry ports at Folkestone and Dover.
A2 towards Channel Ferry port at Dover.

A11 both ways around Elveden Cross Roads
A47 between Peterborough, Wisbech, Kings Lynn and Norwich Bypass.

M1 from Junction 6A (M25 interchange) towards Junction 13 (Milton Keynes), especially through widening roadworks north of Junction 10.
M1 both ways between Junction 23 (A50) and Junction 31 (M18).
M4 from Junction 1 (Chiswick) to Junction 13 (Newbury) and onwards towards M5 and South Wales.

M6 both ways between Junction 4 (M42) and Junction 11A (M6 Toll)
M5 both ways between M6 interchange and Junction 4A (M42 interchange)
M6 both ways between Junction 15 (Stoke-on-Trent South) and Junction 21 (M62 interchange)

M62 both ways between Junction 12 (M60 at Eccles) and Junction 10 (M6 interchange)
M60 both ways between Junction 12 (M62 at Eccles) and Junction 18 (M62/M66 interchange).
A565 from Liverpool towards Southport, and A570 from St. Helens towards Southport – these roads will be restricted at times on Friday, 1st June by the passage of the Olympic flame.
M62 both ways between Junction 25 (Halifax) and Junction 30 (M1 interchange).

A64 from Leeds, via York Southern Ring Road, to Scarborough.
A1/A1M from West Riding into North Yorkshire.
M6 from Junction 29 (Leyland) to Junction 36 (A590) for Lake District
M55 from M6 interchange to Junction 4 for Blackpool.

A90 both ways across Forth Road Bridge
A720 (Edinburgh Ring Road) both ways
A82 from Clydebank towards Trossachs and Scottish Highlands.

Jubilee bank holiday preparation advice from the AA

  • Plan your route in advance and allow plenty of time for the journey
  • Check local traffic and weather reports – call AA Roadwatch on 84322
  • Travel when the roads are quieter
  • If tired, stop and drink one or two cups of coffee or other caffeinated drink and take a short nap of no more than 15-20 minutes
  • As one of their member benefits, personal AA members get 20% off food and drink at Moto service areas when they show their membership card
  • Check oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels, cooling fan operation, lights and tyre pressure (check when tyres are cold and increase pressure for heavy loads if necessary) and tread depth – not forgetting the spare and any caravan/trailer – before hitting the road
  • Pack the car safely being careful not to overload or obstruct vision
  • Keep plenty of refreshments on board and plan car games to keep children comfortable and happy throughout the journey

(29 May 2012)

* AA/Populus poll of 18,636 AA members conducted between 22-28 May 2012