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Fewer traffic jams predicted over Christmas getaway period than in previous years

Date: 20 December 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Motorists will make 28 million journeys on major roads between now and Boxing Day as they make their annual Christmas getaways, the RAC has estimated.

However, the breakdown company said that thanks to Christmas falling on a weekend, drivers have more opportunities to space out journeys, meaning there could be fewer jams than in previous years.

Christmas Eve is expected to bear the brunt of the getaway traffic, with 3.8 million  trips planned, but the RAC suggested this Friday could be the busiest day thanks to an estimated 3.5 million holiday journeys sharing the network with the last day of 'regular' traffic.

It will also cost motorists more to visit friends and family over the Christmas period in 2016, with the average tank of petrol costing £6 more than this time last year, and the average tank of diesel costing £5.56 more than in December 2015.

"The fact we have a lengthy 'pre-Christmas stretch' this year is not to say there won't at times be heavy traffic on the road network through the week, perhaps peaking on 23 December when many workers finish for Christmas and leisure and commuter traffic take to the roads together. But we're hopeful things won't be quite as pressured on our motorways and major A-roads this year as they have been before," said Rod Dennis, RAC Traffic Watch spokesman.

The breakdown company advised drivers to check fuel, oil, rubber, coolant, electrics and screenwash before setting off to ensure they avoid any unexpected stops by the side of the road.