Drivers warned of exact days traffic chaos will occur around Christmas Day

Festive getaway traffic chaos is due earlier than usual this year as Christmas Day falls on a Monday.

The AA predicted that Friday, December 22, and Saturday, December 23, will be the busiest days on the UK’s roads in the festive period. Many will take advantage of the weekend to make trips to friends and family.

The AA estimated over 16million car journeys on the busiest days and issued an “amber traffic warning” warning of “lengthy jams”. AA president Edmund King urged drivers to pack essentials such as water, high-protein food or chocolate, warm clothes and a hi-vis jacket in case they get stranded.

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To avoid the chances of a breakdown, Mr King recommended people carry out vehicle checks before setting off, such as on tyres, fuel, oil, coolant and screen wash. He said: “The unsettled weather forecast could lead to additional delays so drivers should drive to the conditions and slow down where necessary.

“New Year’s Day will be the quietest day on the roads which is probably a good thing especially if drivers have been partying the previous evening. Drivers can still be breathalysed and lose their licence for driving over the limit the morning after.”

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Rail services will also be disrupted over the festive period due to Network Rail carrying out engineering work. London Paddington will be closed between Christmas Eve and Wednesday December 27, meaning no mainline trains will serve Heathrow Airport during that period.

London King’s Cross will be closed on Christmas Eve. An engineering project near Southampton will see some disruption to services, as will work to build the new Cambridge South station.

No trains will operate on Christmas Day, with a very limited service running on Boxing Day. Heathrow Airport expects 6.5 million passengers will travel through its terminals this month, with tens of thousands departing on Christmas Day.

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