Traffic chaos to come a week early
* Bank holiday jams coming early * Late bank holiday to blame * Traffic hotspots listed...
Drivers face chaos on the roads as bank holiday congestion will start early, according to traffic information provider, Trafficmaster.
Jams could snarl-up the country a week earlier than usual, with around 30% more traffic predicted on Friday, August 21, when compared with other 'normal' summer Fridays.
With many children returning to school during the first week in September, the late August bank holiday has brought last-chance getaways forward by a week with parents using the holiday weekend to round off their break.
The last-minute holiday dash also coincides with a busy weekend of leisure events, with the V-Festivals in Shropshire and Essex, air festivals at Bournemouth, Shoreham and Old Warden (Bedfordshire), and the football season now under way.
Graham Smith, data manager at Trafficmaster, said: 'We are expecting to see heavy holiday traffic from mid morning onwards on Friday, 21 August, particularly around the M25 and then across all the major holiday routes. This will later mix with homebound commuter traffic from early afternoon into the evening.
'Add in to that traffic heading to the weekend's music festivals and other events, and we expect to see high levels of congestion continuing on Saturday, 22 August as well.'
More traffic misery is predicted for the holiday weekend itself, as holidaymakers return home and others make a trip to the coast, plus there are attractions such as the Blackpool Illuminations switch-on and the Notting Hill Carnival.
Top traffic hotspots
The top congestion hotspots over August 21 and 28 are expected to be:
• M25 Western sector: motorists will be heading out onto the M4 and the M3 to travel to the Hampshire and Dorset coast, and the West Country.
• A31 and M27 from Southampton to Bournemouth and A35 past Dorchester.
A303 across Salisbury Plain through Wiltshire and down to Somerset and the A30 into Cornwall.
• A3 through Hindhead, and the A34 from Oxford to Newbury and Winchester.
• M4 from London to the South West and M5 from Gloucester towards South Wales.
• M6 through the West Midlands and into South Lancashire.
• M56 and A55 into North Wales.
• M6 and M55 towards Blackpool and the Lake District.
• M1 through the East Midlands into South Yorkshire and A64 to the Yorkshire coast.
• A14 and A11 and A47 to Norfolk and the East Coast.