Sheffield drivers warned to avoid these roads as Christmas travel chaos begins

Sheffield drivers are bracing themselves for a week of travel chaos as the Christmas getaways begin.Â

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 8:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 10:05 am
These are going to be the busiest roads over Christmas

The RAC has warned that as many as 20 million individual Christmas trips will take place in the run up to Christmas, peaking towards the weekend. 

There will be a huge number of trips on Thursday, December 20 and the festive but '˜frantic' Friday 21 with over 5 million journeys expected on these two days. 

These are going to be the busiest roads over Christmas

Data from travel analytics specialists INRIX indicates Wednesday through to Friday will see some significant congestion on major roads, including the M1. 

However, when it comes to pure leisure journeys over Christmas, traffic is likely to peak on Boxing Day when some 6.8 million individual trips will be made as drivers cross the country to see family and friends, followed by Thursday 27th December when 4.4 million journeys are expected to be taken.

Inrix has predicted that motorists on the M1 from junctions 21 to 26 will suffer huge delays of 56 minutes on Thursday, December 20 with traffic reaching its peak at around 3.30pm. 

Drivers have also been warned that the M6 motorway north of Stoke-on-Trent and up to Manchester is likely to be one of the most congested roads with a journey to Wigan taking three hours longer than usual. 

The anticipated jams will be compounded by extensive disruption to the rail network '“ both planned and unplanned '“ that could force more people onto the roads.

Strikes are likely to affect routes run by Northern Rail and South Western Railway, and Network Rail is planning extensive engineering work on lines running into major stations including London Paddington and Victoria.

INRIX data scientist Joshua Kidd said: 'Our data shows that compared to a normal day, Thursday, December 20 will see the biggest increase in cars on the road.

'With most drivers setting out mid-morning, traffic will become heavier over the course of the afternoon and stay congested into the evening.

'But it's not just those off to see family and friends - commuters, last-ditch shoppers and online deliveries will contribute to clogging the roads.

'Drivers are advised to seek out alternative routes to their destinations and use the latest technology for real-time updates.'

Expected Christmas getaway trips and traffic conditions

Wed 19th December - 2.8m trips '“ M25 clockwise from J20 to J28 from 3.30pm '“ Up to 80min delay

Thu 20th December- 2.5m trips '“ M6 north J15 to J25 from 12.30pm '“ Up to 181min delay

Fri 21th December '“ 2.8m trips '“ M40 south from M42 Warwickshire to J8A (Oxford) '“ Up to 110min delay

Sat 22nd December '“ 2.2m trips '“ M40 north from J8A (Oxford) to M42 Warwickshire '“ Up to 61min delay

Sun 23th December '“ 1.9m trips Before 11am or after 8pm best times to travel

Mon 24th December '“ 2.5m trips '“ M1 north J21 (Coventry/Leicester) to J26 (Nottingham/Ripley) '“ Up to 22min delay