NEW YEAR, NEW WEATHER?
No way; it looks set to be more wet and windy conditions affecting most parts of the country. During the lead into the New Year, regular commuter traffic will virtually disappear, but daytime leisure traffic to and from retail outlets commencing their winter sales, is likely to be heavy, says Trafficmaster
Forecasts of relatively mild, but wet and windy weather will add to the woes of drivers as the “Getaway” traffic is likely to be spread throughout the afternoons and early evenings during the present week, but most concentrated on Thursday, 22nd December and Friday, 23rd December.
The morning of Saturday, 24th December is likely to see some late “getaway” traffic, but most traffic on that day will be around retail sites. Although this is likely to reduce from mid afternoon, some retail outlets remain open until 6.00pm. Christmas Day, Sunday, 25th December, is normally an extremely quiet day on Britain’s roads.
Boxing Day, Monday 26th December, will see some leisure traffic, to and from Boxing Day race meetings (weather permitting) as well as traffic to and from retail outlets commencing their sales early.
“Daytime during December is a very busy time on the roads because of poor weather and shorter daylight hours. From Tuesday, 27th December (Bank Holiday) to Friday, 30th December there is unlikely to be any significant commuter traffic, but during the daytime, leisure traffic to and from retail outlets commencing their winter sales is likely to be significant.” said Graham Smith, Data Manager at Trafficmaster, who monitor traffic congestion across the country.
During this time, expect heavy traffic between 10.00am and 4.00pm to and from:
• A406, A5 and M1 around Brent Cross, NW London;
• M1 around Junction 13/14 for Milton Keynes Shopping Centre.
• M1 around Junction 33/34, and Attercliffe Road, Sheffield for the Meadowhall Centre, Sheffield.
• M25 around Dartford Crossing (Junctions 30/31/1A and 1B), A13 around Thurrock and A2 around Dartford for Lakeside and Bluewater Centres
• M5 around Junction 16 (Cribb’s Causeway)
• A1 around Metro Centre, Gateshead.
• A11, A12 and A102 around Westfields Shopping Centre - Stratford City, East London.
• M60 around Trafford Centre, Manchester.
As the week progresses, Trafficmaster also predicts heavy traffic on Anglo-Scottish roads into Scotland, especially M6/A74M, A1 and A68. Roads in the Centre of Edinburgh will be restricted or closed completely from Friday, 30th December onwards, and those in Central Glasgow on Saturday, 31st December in preparation for Hogmanay. There are likely to be local restrictions on roads in other Scottish towns and cities.
“The closing days of December and the month of January will bring increased risk of wintry weather conditions (especially in Central Wales and the Scottish Highlands), and hence an increased chance of disruption to traffic due to weather conditions,” Graham Smith continued. “We'd encourage anyone travelling around this time to plan their journey in advance, get the latest traffic information from our 1740 mobile phone service, or download our TrafficView iPhone App, and alter your journey time to miss these peak periods if you can.”
New Year’s Day is likely to be quite on all roads in England and Wales, while Bank Holiday Monday 2nd January may see some leisure traffic to and from Football League matches and retail outlets.
Although normal working resumes in England and Wales from the 3rd of January, with schools starting during that first week, commuter and HGV traffic usually remain light, as industry and retail outlets gradually recover from the Christmas holiday break. Winter sales at most retail outlets continue until the end of the first week of January, and heavier traffic than usual can be expected during evenings around main retail outlets.
In Scotland, the Hogmanay holiday continues on Tuesday, 3rd January, when traffic is expected to be light, apart from daytime leisure traffic. Normal traffic conditions will resume gradually from Wednesday, 4th January.
For traffic updates, Trafficmaster’s control centre is on 01234 759 100 (available 24/7) and Michael Savage, Trafficmaster’s Head of UK Networks, is available on 07730 922 800 for comment on the traffic situation.
Trafficmaster is an expert in intelligent driving. The Group comprises US-based Teletrac Inc., Fleet Management Solutions® (FMS) and Trafficmaster Ltd in the UK. Each organisation focuses on intelligent vehicle services, which enhance the driving experience and improve business performance by saving companies and drivers time and money, reducing their environmental impact as well as providing vehicle and driver security.
The group has developed a suite of Trafficmaster services in the UK. Trafficmaster's key product is the award-winning Smartnav, an intelligent satellite navigation system, which uses live traffic information and real-time road speeds to calculate optimum routes and avoid traffic congestion. Trafficmaster's comprehensive traffic data means Smartnav is continually updated with traffic information, road closures and speed camera locations.
Trafficmaster offers the Thatcham approved Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking, which is monitored 24 hours a day in the Trafficmaster Control Centre. Stolen vehicles automatically alert the Trafficmaster emergency desk operators who then monitor them remotely and inform the police of their whereabouts for fast and efficient recovery.
Trafficmaster maintains a unique network of 5,200 traffic monitoring sensors, generating high quality real-time traffic information on the UK motorway and trunk roads. Live traffic information is provided to customers via RDSTMC, premium rate telephone services, the internet and various data feeds.
Trafficmaster provides, Fleet Director, their fleet management solution in the UK, which combines all of Trafficmaster’s intelligent technology to help businesses become more efficient and productive, whilst reducing the environmental impact of driving.
Trafficmaster was founded in 1988 and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1994. Teletrac Inc. and FMS are wholly owned US subsidiary companies. On the 29th July 2010 Trafficmaster was acquired by Vector Capital and was delisted from the London Stock Exchange.
For further information visit www.trafficmaster.co.uk www.vectorcapital.com