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Over 11 million will be driving home for Christmas this Friday

Published 18 December 2017

Drivers are being urged to avoid travelling between 4-8pm on 'Frantic' Friday 22 December, with commuter traffic set to clash with millions of people making a dash for the great Christmas getaway.

According to the RAC, 'Frantic Friday' will be one of the most congested of the whole of 2017, with 11.5 million drivers set to hit the roads from 4-8pm. Traffic problems will be made all the worse by a number of national rail strikes that are also taking place on 22 December.

"The roads are traditionally busy in the run-up to Christmas, especially when you have commuters, commercial and leisure traffic all competing for space. Things tend to get worse on the last working day before Christmas, with ‘Frantic Friday’ this year falling on the 22 December," said RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis.

“As always, the message to drivers is to plan ahead and try to avoid peak times if you can" 

“As always, the message to drivers is to plan ahead and try to avoid peak times if you can," added Dennis.  

On the plus side, Highways England has announced that 99 per cent of motorways and major A-roads will be free of roadworks over Christmas, which should see 400 miles of roadworks lifted.

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The total pre-Christmas getaway traffic will, however, be eclipsed by the 17.5 million leisure trips that will take between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Indeed, the busiest day for leisure trips – and of course trips to the post-Christmas sales – is expected to be Boxing Day, with the RAC estimating that 5.3 million journeys will take place. The roads are predicted to be worst from 10am to 2pm on this day. 

Journeys that drivers do make over Christmas will unfortunately be more costly, with rising petrol prices adding £3 to a tank of fuel for a typical 55-litre family car in December 2017, compared to the same month in 2016.

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