Motorists told to prepare for ‘Frantic Friday’

Drivers told to prepare for Frantic Friday

Drivers are being warned to prepare for ‘Frantic Friday’ as millions of motorists hit the roads for their summer getaway.

Around 5.3 million extra cars are expected to be on the road this Friday, with the M25 and M1 likely to see the longest delays. Overall, drivers are expected to take 13.4 million separate leisure trips between Friday and the end of the weekend.

That’s the highest number in five years and 4 million more than the same period last year, according to the RAC and transportation analytics firm INRIX.

Drivers on the M1 and M25 are likely to be delayed by 90 minutes and 60 minutes respectively, but congestion is also expected on the M40, M20, M6 and M5 motorways, along with the A30 heading through Devon and into Cornwall.

traffic delays on the M5 near Bristol

Although Friday and Saturday are likely to be the busiest days on the road, some drivers will attempt an early getaway, with Thursday afternoon seeing a spike in traffic from around lunchtime.

‘Frantic Friday’ and the weekend at a glance


Date Leisure trips by car Peak periods Quieter periods  Longest delays
Thursday 18 July 3.7 million 1.45pm to 6.45pm After 8pm M40 south (J14 to J11)

M5 south (J4 to J8)

‘Frantic Friday’ 19 July 5.3 million 11am to 6.45pm After 8pm M1 south (J16 to J6)

M25 anticlockwise (J4 to J11)

Saturday 20 July 5 million 11am to 2pm Before 9.30am or after 4.30pm M20 west (J7 to J3)

A30 west (Pathfinder to Whiddon Down)

Sunday 21 July 3.1 million 1pm to 3pm Before 11am or after 8pm M1 north (J12 to J16)

M25 anticlockwise (J4 to J1)

Monday 22 July 2.8 million 11.30am to 6pm After 7pm M6 north (J5 to J10a)

M25 anticlockwise (J7 to J12)

‘Hours of frustration’

traffic congestion uk

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: “The last thing any family wants is a breakdown spoiling the start of their summer holiday they’ve no doubt been looking forward to for a long time. Traffic jams are pretty much guaranteed from the end of this weekend and while it’s possible to predict where some of these will be, every summer we see extra delays caused by broken-down vehicles blocking lanes, leaving drivers faced with hours of frustration.

“We therefore urge holidaymakers to heed the advice and spend just a few minutes checking the basics like oil, coolant and tyre tread and pressure on their cars before they get packed up. Doing this could make the difference between a smooth and trouble-free journey, and one plagued by the stress and wasted time that comes from being broken-down at the roadside.”

Use the FORCES

Checking car ahead of Frantic Friday

Drivers are being advised to use the FORCES to keep moving over the ‘Frantic Friday’ weekend. FORCES is a six-point checklist drivers can use before setting off for a long journey.

Fuel: don’t risk running out of fuel – refill at the beginning of your journey

Oil: check it’s at the right level to reduce the chances of overheating in traffic

Rubber: tyres need to be properly inflated and in good condition

Coolant: this does a vital job in ensuring the engine runs at the right temperature. If it’s not between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ levels, this could be the sign of a problem

Electrics: your wipers will help keep your windscreen clear of bugs, and you’ll need your lights on during any heavy downpours. The electrics also control your indicators and windows, so check there are no problems

Screenwash: helps keep your windscreen clear