Drivers are being warned that this Friday is likely to be one of the worst days of the year for traffic congestion, due to the start of the autumn half-term holiday for most schools in England and Wales.
According to traffic monitoring specialists Trafficmaster, families making an early start to their half-term breaks mixing with normal Friday afternoon traffic are likely to increase congestion by up to 20% in the busiest areas.
Long stretches of motorway roadworks, and the high likelihood of poor weather, could make the situation even worse.
Trafficmaster says that the likely congestion hotspots include the western stretch of the M25, the M6 through Birmingham, the M5 and A303 holiday routes to the South West, the M3, the A11 in East Anglia and the M56/A55 North Wales Expressway.
Traffic is expected to build from about 10:00am onwards, with peak traffic from about 3:00pm - and some routes are expected to remain busy until Saturday afternoon.
The good news
The good news is that commuters should enjoy a quieter run to work next week, although returning holiday traffic is also likely to cause additional delays later on.
'The return run from the half-term holidays is also expected to be spread over a few days,' says Graham Smith, Trafficmaster's data manager, 'but the heaviest traffic is likely to be seen from about 3:00pm on Sunday, November 1 as many people start for home while it's still daylight.'