Major roadworks to avoid on motorways including M1, M3 and M5 this Easter as RAC warn of Easter traffic jams

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Drivers are being warned to expect severe traffic jams on major roads over the Easter bank holiday weekend as millions are expected to get away by car.

The RAC have issued a stark warning to drivers expecting to travel during the great Easter getaway. The motoring experts have listed the traffic hotspots they expect to be busiest during the weekend from Good Friday.

They say roads in south-west England and some in the home counties are likely to experience the worst congestion on Good Friday. They are predicting more than double the normal traffic levels for the A303 westbound near Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the M5 south between Bristol and Bridgwater, and the M25 anticlockwise between Hertfordshire and Surrey.

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A survey of 2,400 UK drivers commissioned by the RAC suggested 2.7 million car journeys have been planned for Good Friday and Easter Sunday by drivers embarking on day trips or overnight stays. Saturday and Easter Monday are expected to be slightly less busy, with 2.3 million separate getaway trips on each day.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With many people keen to make the most of the double bank holiday this Easter weekend, we’re expecting the customary jams across parts of the road network to make this Good Friday a bad Friday for drivers, especially those who are planning on covering longer distances.

“Traffic volumes could be even higher if the sun chooses to make a welcome appearance. The South and West are the areas to watch as they’re home to some vital roads responsible for carrying vast numbers of people to the holiday destinations of the West Country. Our advice to anyone heading that way is to get on the road as early as possible on Good Friday, or travel on a different day entirely.”

Drivers are also being urged to check their travel routes carefully before setting off, due to roadworks over the Easter break. Locations such as the M1 near Sheffield, the M3 in Surrey, and a significant emergency barrier repair site on the M25 near London Heathrow - have been identified as potentials for a detour nightmare.

An 18-year-old man has been killed in a collision on the A64.An 18-year-old man has been killed in a collision on the A64.
An 18-year-old man has been killed in a collision on the A64.

Full list of major roadworks over the Easter break

  • M1 (Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire, Derbyshire) - Four lanes shut southbound and northbound J15A-J15 (Northampton, Rothersthorpe) 9pm to 6am, April 16-17. 
  • M3 (Surrey) - Three lanes shut westbound between J2 and J3 (Gatwick, Woking) 8pm to 6am, April 3-6. 
  • M5 (North Somerset, Gloucestershire) - Three lanes shut southbound between J19 and J20 (Portishead, Clevedon) 9pm to 6am, April 2-6. Two lanes (of three) shut northbound and southbound, J11-J13 (Gloucester, Stroud) 8pm to 6am April 3-6, April 11-4. 
  • M23 (West Sussex) - Three lanes shut southbound J11 (Crawley) 8pm to 6am, April 2-6, April 11-13, April 14-15. 
  • M40 (Buckinghamshire) Four lanes shut southbound J2 to J1A (Beaconsfield, Heathrow) 10pm to 6am April 3-6.
  • M56 (Cheshire) Three lanes shut eastbound J14-J12 (Chester, Runcorn) 9pm to 5am, April 3-6. 

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