Trafficmaster Report: Easter Holiday Congestion, 2005

CRANFIELD, England, March 24/PRNewswire/ — 1) It is expected that Maundy Thursday, 24th March 2005, will be a particularly busy day on Britain’s roads. In many areas, school term time does not end until that day (due to the early date for the Easter Holiday and transition to revised school term times), so people leaving to spend the Holiday away will tend to depart on the Thursday afternoon. It also precedes the weekend marking the start of British Summer Time.

Heavy traffic should be expected from lunchtime onwards on the regular commuter runs, as commuter traffic starts the homebound run earlier than usual, and Holiday “getaway” traffic soon follows. The main traffic arteries for the latter traffic are:

M25 Western and Northern Sectors; watch especially the section through the roadworks between Junctions 12 and 15 where Heathrow Airport traffic will further congest the road. On the Northern Sector, traffic to and from the M11 for Stansted Airport will add to the regular traffic.

M1 throughout both the Home Counties and the East Midlands – usually a regular weekend northbound delay here, which is likely to be heavier than usual.

M6 especially between Junction 11A – the northern end of the Toll Road – and Merseyside/Lancashire. If weather is fine, there could also be heavy traffic further north on the M6 towards Blackpool and the Lake District.

M4 between London and Bristol/M5 interchange/South Wales.

With an optimistic weather forecast, there is also likely to be heavy traffic along the M5 from the West Midlands and the Almondsbury interchange into the West Country.

The North Wales coastal route A55 is also likely to be very busy.

Further north, expect heavy traffic both ways along the M62 across the Pennines; in the event of fine weather, there is likely to be heavy traffic into North Yorkshire, which could be adversely affected by the roadworks around the A1/M62 interchange at Ferrybridge.

Finally, in Scotland, expect heavy traffic both ways through Glasgow on the M8, towards the Ayrshire coastal resorts on the M77/A77 and into the Highlands on the A9/A82 if weather is fine.

2) On Good Friday and Easter Saturday, traffic will probably be lighter, although some people may defer their departure for a Holiday break until those days. The former day often sees heavy traffic locally around retail outlets – traditionally “do-it-yourself” outlets, and sporting events often attract heavier crowds than usual.

3) On Easter Sunday and Monday, the levels of traffic tend to depend upon weather conditions – in the event of abnormally good weather there is likely to be day trip traffic to coastal resorts and National Park areas. During the late afternoon of Eastern Monday, expect some heavier traffic than usual returning home along the “getaway” routes, although many people are likely to be taking the week away.

4) On Sunday afternoon and evening, 3rd April, expect very heavy traffic returning home along many of the regular “getaway” routes:

M25 Western and Northern Sectors in both directions
M1 both ways between J6A and J14
M40 eastbound from Stokenchurch towards London
M4 both ways in South Wales, and between Bristol and the M25 at Slough.
M6 southbound from Lake District and M55 junction (ex Blackpool) towards
the northern end of the M6 Toll Road.
M5 eastbound and northbound from West Country towards Almondsbury and the
West Midlands.
A1 southbound through Yorkshire towards the roadworks at Ferrybridge.
A55 eastbound along the North Wales coast.

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