Summer Survival Guide - Part 2 - Beat the jams

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It's not the most laid-back drivers who are the most relaxed when they arrive at their destination - it's the best prepared.

So, plan your route, find out what roadworks are happening and, if necessary, work out a way round them.

To keep yourself fresh, plan stops at roughly two-hour or 100-mile intervals, and not necessarily at service stations. Consider leaving the main routes to find a more relaxing pub or café.

And, to cope with any unexpected delay, take toys and games for your children, and music for yourself, and make sure you've got plenty of water and snacks.

It pays to do your homework before you leave, so use the information below:

Websites
The Highways Agency: www.highways.gov.uk
Trafficmaster: www.trafficmaster.co.uk
Transport Scotland: www.transportscotland.gov.uk
Traffic Scotland: www.trafficscotland.org
Traffic Wales: www.traffic-wales.com
The AA: www.theaa.com/travelwatch/roadwatch.jsp
The RAC: www.rac.co.uk (click on 'Traffic Update' in the left-hand menu).
www.getmethere.co.uk
www.teletext.co.uk
www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/#roads

Telephone and mobile services
Many organisations and websites can send traffic alerts to your mobile, while others provide useful voice services to keep you moving.

Trafficmaster: Call 0906 470 1740 from a landline, or 1740 from your mobile. Costs vary according to your operator.

The AA: Call 09003 401 100 from a landline or 401 100 from your mobile. Costs from 60p per minute.

The RAC: Call 1740. Cost 59p per minute.

BBC: Text 'Traffic' to 81010. Costs 12-15p per text.

www.keepmoving.co.uk: Call 64644 for voice service

www.getmethere.co.uk: Text TRAFFIC to 82085 and you'll get a map sent to your WAP mobile. Costs £1.

Traffic Wales: www.traffic-wales.com - you need to register, but you can get text and e-mail alerts directly from the Welsh Assembly's traffic information service. Costs vary according to your operator.

Teletext services
In today's digital age, it's easy to forget about Teletext. So, if you don't have a mobile phone, aren't in a good signal area, or don't have internet access, try Ceefax (p431) and Teletext (p160). There are also landline services provided by the AA and Trafficmaster (see above).

Summer Survival Guide - Part 2 - The traffic black spots

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