Christmas congestion: 12 days of delays expected

The 12 days of Christmas will be congested – and could be dangerous for drivers. We reveal the best times to travel.

Christmas congestion

The 12 days of Christmas will be congested and could be dangerous for drivers. From couriers delivering gifts to taxis full of party-goers, the last two weeks of December are unlike any others for the rest of the year.

Combined with this additional workload, the roads are also made treacherous by the winter conditions. Drivers are facing Christmas traffic on greasy, gritty roads in dim light, and potentially freezing conditions.

UK traffic jam

“This time of year means the hazardous combination of distracted road users, including pedestrians, and poor driving conditions,” said Pete Robb, safety expert at Continental Tyres.

“What is different in recent years is the emergence of thousands of gig-economy drivers and riders. They will be extra busy this Christmas season, with a recent study revealing that 63 per cent of these road users are not provided with training to manage risk.”

Which days are busy and why?Christmas congestion

Continental has divided the coming 12 days into what makes each most treacherous. Thursday and Friday (the 19th and 20th) are when the schools break up and the last of the Christmas parties take place.

Then, the final weekend before Christmas, otherwise known as ‘panic shopping weekend’, longer-distance travel for the period begins. The Monday before Christmas (the 23rd), is when travel is well underway. Christmas Eve is the last gasp for shoppers and delivery companies, before Christmas day, when everything goes relatively quiet.

British drivers stuck in traffic

Post-Christmas is when the shopping frenzy really begins, ironically, in the run-up to the new year. There’s also the rush of people travelling home and others returning to work. And, of course, there’s new year’s eve. In short, the next 12 days really look quite frantic when it comes to getting around.

So, plan your journeys, when you leave and what route you take. Give yourself plenty of time. Make sure your car’s up to the job and consider the conditions you’ll be venturing out into.

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Ethan Jupp
I'm Content Editor at MR. Road trips music and movies are my vices. Perennially stuck between French hot hatches and Australian muscle cars.


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