Drivers set to undertake close to 31m trips by car this Christmas

Nearly 31m trips are set to be taken between today and Christmas Eve, according to a new survey.

An estimated 5.6m trips are planned for December 23 and Christmas Eve alone, with drivers hoping to take advantage of fewer commuters being on the roads.

Data provided by transportation analytics specialists INRIX indicates that the brunt of festive traffic will be felt on the M1 in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, along with northern and western sections of the clockwise M25 and the M6 in the West Midlands.

Ben Aldous, RAC patrol of the year, said: “Our figures suggest many more drivers are planning leisure trips by car in the run-up to this Christmas this year, so bumper-to-bumper traffic on some motorways and major A-roads is going to be near-guaranteed.

“While Christmas Day is still a little way off, it looks as though millions of drivers are planning to complete their getaway trips this week. Unfortunately, when you add in the prospect of unsettled weather, with heavy rain and strong winds in some parts, these are likely to be pretty unpleasant drives for many of us.”

Melanie Clarke, Highways England’s customer service director, said: “We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible and that’s why we’re keeping around 98% of the road network we manage, free from roadworks.

“Safety is our top priority and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before setting off over this period.

“We’re asking people to be prepared too. Make sure you have everything you need for your journey should there be any delays, check before and during your journey and also make sure you’re aware of the signs and signals on motorways.”

The survey which generated the estimates was conducted by RAC and questioned 1,600 UK motorists about their travel plans over the festive period. This years’ 31m trips are the represents the highest number since the RAC first spoke the motorists on the subject back in 2013.

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