Major warning issued over Bank Holiday travel as hotspots to avoid revealed


Congestion will be at its worst on Saturday according to the AA (Picture: Getty)
Congestion will be at its worst on Saturday according to the AA (Picture: Getty Images)

People have been warned of potential traffic chaos over the Bank Holiday weekend as millions of cars take to the roads.

Several major events will be taking place up and down the UK over the next week.

An amber traffic warning has been issued ahead of an estimated 15 million bank holiday trips this weekend.

The AA expects 45% of UK drivers to embark on at least one non-commuting journey between Friday and Monday.

Families returning from summer holidays before the start of the new school year will battle for road space with festivalgoers.

Events taking place this weekend range from Reading and Leeds Festivals, CarFest South in Hampshire, the closing weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a full programme of football fixtures and an England v South Africa cricket Test match in Manchester.

Traffic is expected to hit a peak on Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

Predicted traffic hotspots include the M4/M5 interchange near Bristol; the M1 between the M25 and Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire; the M6/M42 interchange in Birmingham; and the M62 between Liverpool and Manchester.

AA patrol of the year Sean Sidley said: ‘This year we are predicting up to 15 million journeys will be made over the August bank holiday, as families make the most of the warm weather and have a last hurrah before the new school year.

READING, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Music fans soak up the atmosphere as The Courteeners perform live on stage during day three of Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue on August 26, 2018 in Reading, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Events such as the Reading Festival are taking place this weekend (Picture: Getty Images)

‘With events and festivals fully back to normal, localised congestion will peak at closing time around major venues, but the rest of the UK could see peak journeys throughout Saturday.

‘Traffic is likely to build again from Monday afternoon and into Tuesday, so allow plenty of time if you’re travelling then.

‘Routes to and from coastal resorts and beauty spots will be among the busiest, so drivers should plan ahead for the journey and check your car before you go.’

Monday is a bank holiday across the UK except Scotland, and is the final public holiday of the summer.

Some forecasters have predicted more heatwave-style conditions ahead of the weekend.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amer Ghazzal/Shutterstock (13089802i) People walking on thedried brown grass on Wimbledon Common. The Met Office has issued an amber extreme heat warning across England and Wales lasting for the rest of the week when temperatures are expected to rise above 30Celsius as the driest spell in England for 46 years continues and a drought has been officially declared by the Environment Agency. Extreme heatwave in London, Wimbledon Common, London, United Kingdom - 13 Aug 2022 weather
Parts of the UK could see a return of heat-wave like conditions (Picture: Amer Ghazzal/Shutterstock)

On Sunday, experts suggested temperatures could reach 30°C in ‘extreme circumstances’.

But the Met Office issued a fresh forecast this morning, warning that some areas of the UK will face ‘sunshine and showers’.

As well as delays on the road, some train services on key routes will be disrupted this weekend due to engineering work.

Network Rail said upgrades worth £90 million will be carried out, but stressed that 95% of lines will remain open.

A reduced timetable will be in place between Northampton/Milton Keynes and London Euston due to HS2 work between Saturday and Monday.

People stand in front of departure information screens inside Euston railway station, as railway workers strike over pay and terms, in London, Britain, August 20, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Minor rail disruption is also expected over the Bank Holiday weekend (Picture: Reuters)

Projects to rebuild junctions mean there will be no trains to London’s Charing Cross or Cannon Street stations on Saturday or Sunday, with a limited service from Hastings and Tonbridge to London Bridge on both days.

London Bridge and Cannon Street will fully reopen on Bank Holiday Monday, while Charing Cross will remain closed until the following day.

Services between London Waterloo and Reading will be amended and diverted during the three-day weekend because of signalling work.

No Great Northern or Thameslink trains will run between Finsbury Park and Stevenage via Welwyn Garden City on Sunday, and Grand Central trains will be diverted with extended journey times.

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Bristol – Metro