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Afternoon Delight

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End of Summer Traffic

Written by on 31st August 2017

As the summer holidays end and children return to school, INRIX, the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics, warns that journeys on the UK’s most popular roads will take more than three times longer than usual.

Analysis of INRIX data reveals that roads will be busiest on Monday 4th September in the afternoon and early evening, a result of holidaymakers capitalising on the last few days of the break whilst others resume their routine commutes.

Dr Graham Cookson, Chief Economist & Head of Research, INRIX, who analysed the data commented:

“All good things must come to an end. Sadly for most, the end of the summer holidays heralds a return to work, school and traffic. Holidaymakers hoping to make the most of the remaining few days should be aware that traffic will be worst on Monday afternoon and evening.”

The longest delays will be on the M25 Clockwise from Junction 14 for London Heathrow to Potters Bar A111, which will take three times longer than usual. Drivers travelling along both directions of the M6 from Junction 20 for the M56 to Junction 11A for the M6 (Toll) can expect delays of 90 minutes and journeys along the M23 northbound from Brighton (J11) to the M25 (J8), and the M5 north from Exeter Airport (J29) to Bristol and the M4 (J15) will also take three times as long as normal.

Routes back from the coast, ports and other popular holidays destinations dominate the list of most congested roads (below). Drivers returning from Devon and Cornwall will be worst affected as all main routes out of the South West (M5, A30, A38 and A303) will be very busy with congestion expected to last all day (11:30-20:00) Monday on these routes. The Lake District (A66, A591) and East Anglia (A11, A47, A14) will also be particularly busy with few alternative options available to drivers while entire stretches of the M20 and M23 Northbound will be heavily congested.

The fastest way home may not be the shortest route so, to help drivers heading off this weekend, INRIX has provided possible alternative routes. Table 1 (below) shows the most delayed routes, worst travel periods and alternative routes for the most congested routes in the UK between 31st August and 5th September 2017.

Dr Graham Cookson continued:

To beat the rush, drivers should leave early as possible on Monday, keep up to date with live traffic reports and consider INRIX’s alternative routes, even if they are longer in distance. If congestion hotspots can’t be avoided, ensure you have plenty of supplies in your car.”

Road and rail updates may exacerbate delays. Planned roadworks on the A27 westbound access from A280 from 1st – 2nd September and a lane closure on the M271 Junction 1 southbound until September 2nd could cause congestion.

The upgrades at Waterloo station are on track be completed but passengers on Great Western Railway may require to use a replacement bus service between select stations.

Drivers should check online for any last minute changes.

Table 1: Most Congested Roads, Expected Delay and Alternative Routes for 31 August to 5 September

Road & Direction Affected Junctions Peak Day Peak Time Delay Travel Time Increase Alternative Route
M25 Clockwise J14 (LHR) to J24 (Potters Bar A111) Thursday 14:00 – 15:30 35 min 333% N/A
M25 Clockwise J14 (LHR) to J24 (Potters Bar A111) Saturday 14:00 – 18:30 35 min 333% N/A
M6 South J20 (M56) to J11A (M6 Toll) Monday 13:30 – 17:30 1 hour 30 min 280% A537/A34
M23 North J11 (Brighton A23) to J8 (M25) Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 16:00 45 min 280% A24
M6 North J11A (M6 Toll) to J20 (M56) Monday 12:00 – 19:00 1 hour 25 min 270% A34/A537
M5 North J29 (A30 Exeter Airport) to J15 (Bristol M4) Thursday 11:30 – 15:00 1 hour 15 min 250% A38 or A303
M5 North J29 (A30 Exeter Airport) to J15 (Bristol M4) Monday 11:30 – 17:30 1 hour 220% A38 or A303
M4 East J32 (Cardiff A470) to J47 (A483 Swansea West) Thursday 15:30 – 16:30 40 min 214% A4042/A465
A11 West Norwich (A47) to Thetford (A134) Monday 08:00 – 12:00 20 min 200% A140/A1066
A66 West Scotch Corner (A1M) to Penrith (M6) Monday 13:00 – 18:00 45 min 190% A1/A684/M6
A30 East Five Lanes/Launceston to Exeter West Monday & Tuesday 11:30 – 13:00 30 min 186% A38
A303 East Ilminster (A358 Taunton) to Andover Thursday & Monday 11:30 – 20:00 55 min 179% A38 or M5
A303 East Ilminster (A358 Taunton) to Andover Thursday & Monday 11:30 – 20:00 55 min 179% A38 or M5
M40 South J17 (M42, Birmingham) to J5 (High Wycombe) Monday 16:30 – 18:00 45 min 175% M6/M1/M25
A38 East Saltash to Exeter Monday 11:00 – 12:00 20 min 167% A30
M20 North J13 (Folkestone) to J1 (M25) Tuesday 13:00 – 16:00 30 min 167% A20
M3 North  J14 (Southampton) to J2 (M25) Monday 11:00 -14:30 25 min 163% M27/A3
A14 West A12 (Ipswich) to Cambridge East Saturday 07:30 – 08:30 35 min 158% N/A
M40 North J5 (High Wycombe) to J17 (Birmingham) Monday 13:30 – 18:00 30 min 150% M25/M1/M6
A591 South Keswick to A590 (Sizergh Castle) Tuesday 15:00 – 18:30 20 min 144% A66/M6
A47 East Great Yarnmouth to Swaffam Saturday & Sunday 15:30 – 18:00 20 min 140% N/A
A47 East Great Yarnmouth to Swaffam Monday 10:00 – 12:00 20 min 140% N/A
A591 South Keswick to A590 (Sizergh Castle) Monday 11:00 – 13:00 15 min 133% A66/M6


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