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RAC warns of festive traffic on 'Frantic Friday'

Date: 21 December 2017   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Friday is set to be the busiest day for traffic in the build up to Christmas, according to the RAC.

The motoring organisation says that 1.25 million leisure trips will be taken, as families head home, clashing with the last day of commuter traffic before the Christmas break.

Although more people will make leisure journeys on Christmas Eve, the addition of commuters is set to create what the RAC has dubbed 'Frantic Friday'.

The RAC says a total of 11.5 million leisure journeys will take place in the run-up to Christmas, but this will be eclipsed by the 17.5 million set to take place between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: "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 - we strongly urge drivers planning long journeys to avoid this day if they possibly can.

"We're then expecting pre-Christmas leisure trips to peak on Christmas Eve, with getaway traffic combining with the inevitable dashes to the shops for last-minute Christmas presents.

"Highways England has announced that 99% of England's strategic roads - that's motorways and major A-roads - will be free of roadworks by this time which should ease things, but it only takes a single accident or breakdown in some locations to bring traffic grinding to a halt."

Highways England's customer service director Melanie Clarke said: "We're doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible this Christmas and that's why we're keeping 99% of the road network we manage free from roadworks.

"Over the past two years we've already added 190 lane miles of much-needed capacity and that will make life easier for those travelling around this month."