Despite the soaring cost of fuel, motorists are planning more Easter leisure journeys than ever before in the coming weekend.
The RAC says drivers are collectively planning more than 21 million leisure journeys by car this weekend – the highest number for an Easter bank holiday since the organisation first started tracking motorists’ plans in 2014.
The busiest day is set to be Good Friday, followed by bank holiday Monday. Saturday and Sunday will see slightly fewer trips.
The scale of the Easter getaway on the roads is likely to be increased because of the closures of key parts of the West Coast Main railway line. Most supporters of Manchester City and Liverpool are expected to drive to Wembley to watch the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday.
According to the traffic data service Inrix, the busiest locations are likely to be on the northbound M6 north between Warrington and the Lake District; the southbound M6 heading towards Stoke-on-Trent; the M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M40 junction for Oxford, taking in the M3 and M4 junctions; and the A303 near Stonehenge.
The middle of the day, from around 11am to 4pm, is expected to see the worst congestion. Motorists are advised to set off early in the day or in late afternoon.
The road network in Kent is also disrupted because of the closure of a key 20-mile stretch of the M20 for use by trucks seeking to travel to France by tunnel or ferry.
P&O Ferries, which suspended operations on the Dover-Calais route four weeks ago, will not resume sailings after two of its ships were detained for further safety inspections by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.