FREEZING WEATHER ADDS TO CHRISTMAS TRAFFIC CHAOS
The recent spell of severe winter weather is expected to cause traffic to and from retail outlets to be abnormally high throughout the remaining shopping days to the Christmas holiday.
“December is a very busy time on the roads because of poor weather and shorter daylight hours,” said Graham Smith, Data Manager at Trafficmaster Ltd, who monitor traffic congestion across the country. “But the Christmas rush is likely to be impacted this year by the recent bout of severe weather, causing many to defer their shopping trips. This year we expect the worst traffic days to be Friday 17 December and Saturday 18 December, as schools break up and the general holiday getaway begins, coupled with people heading out for the last few shopping days before Christmas. Commercial, commuter and leisure traffic will reach its peak and could double journey times across main routes in the UK.”
Trafficmaster also predicts the afternoon rush on 23rd December will be very busy with congestion caused by a mix of retail deliveries, commuters leaving work early for holidays, last-minute Christmas shoppers and families travelling to their Christmas destinations.
“The weather forecast for this period is not good and if it does turn bad it could be absolute chaos as peopled are forced to make their last minute journeys in poor driving conditions,” Graham Smith continued. “We'd encourage anyone travelling in the run-up to Christmas to plan their journey in advance, get the latest traffic information from our 1740 mobile phone service and alter your journey time to miss these peak periods if you can.”
Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story, as Trafficmaster expects congestion levels to build again between the Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday and the New Year. While commuter traffic will be quiet, many people will be heading to shopping centres for retail sales; HGVs will be on the roads to re-stock supermarket shelves and traditional winter sports fixtures such as horse racing and football will be drawing the crowds.
Trafficmaster’s top ten congestion hotspots for the Christmas holidays are:
Road Section of road
M25 All sections; especially junction 14 & 15 near Heathrow Airport
M1 Between London, East Midlands and South Yorkshire.
M4 Between London, Bristol and South Wales
M6 Through West Midlands, Staffordshire, Cheshire and South Lancashire.
M11 Between M25 and Stansted Airport.
M60 Around Manchester
M62 Through West Yorkshire and to and from Manchester.
A1 Between London and Yorkshire
For information about traffic conditions in your region, please contact The Traffic Control Desk at Trafficmaster on 01234 759100 or Graham Smith, Traffic Data Manager on 01234 759 118.
For more information about Trafficmaster go to www.trafficmaster.co.uk