Easter Get Away
Easter getaway is predicted to be busy with upto 90 minutes added to your journey times. Here we have some tips and advice that may help with the Easter getaway travel plansIt's that time of year when thousands of us have an extended weekend and make plans plans for a long weekend get away, be it domestic or abroad. It's also that time when traffic is at one of its most congested throughout the year. Thursday night is predicted to be busy, with the M25 between Leatherhead and Chiswell to experience the worst delays, adding upto 90 minutes to the journey time - according to traffic information company Inrix.
We won't escape the traffic jam here in Kent either. It's predicted that a journey through the Dartford Crossing could take as long as 55 minutes (from junction 4 through to Essex)
If however, your thinking of ditching the car and travel by train is the better option, think again. The rail network across the UK will have more then 200 rail engineering works.
With more then 20 million cars expected to be on the UK roads over the Easter period, its worth planning your journey carefully and expect delays. Here's a quick guide to dealing with Easter traffic.
- Plan around the less busy times. Worst time to travel, Thursday between 16:00-18:00, Friday between 10:00-14:00 and Easter Monday between 12:00-17:00
- If you can't avoid those times, expect delays and prepare to stop at service stations along the way, more so if your traveling with young children and pets.
- Have plenty of entertainment for the passengers to hand. Today's tech might include films and games on tablet computers. But don't let them distract the driver
- Complete vehicle checks before your journey. Check oil, coolant, screen wash, tyres and electrics before hand. Around 20 motorists a day breakdown yet most can be avoided with simple checks.
- Make sure you have enough fuel, and know your where you can fill up should you have a very long journey.
- Have fresh drinking water to hand to keep refreshed and alert.
- If traveling with pets, make a few pit stops to stretch yours and your pets legs. Do not keep them in a locked vehicle on a hot and sunny day - its dangerous for the pet. And keep your pet distraction free. secured with belt on back seat or better still in a purpose built crate in the boot.
- Keep a check on traffic, either visiting Highways England, RAC, AA websites or keeping an eye on mapping software and apps like Google maps or dedicated devices like TomTom or Garmin navigation systems. Careful not to be distracted by any online navigation system or smart phone technology.
- Sticking with heavy motorway traffic may be faster then alternative routes along possible congested A roads or country lanes - but be prepared to deal with any changes on route.
- If traveling through tool areas, Dartford crossing or Londons congestion zones, pay in advance so you don't forget later and rise a fine. Make sure you have cash or card for some tolls like the M6 toll or cash only for the M4 toll into Wales.
- Know your route and major motorway junctions and any signs surrounding Smart Motorways Systems, especially if your not used to the new smart motorway systems.
Most important however, is to keep your cool. Think ahead throughout your journey and avoid any distractions that impair your driving. Ease of the gas when traffic starts to build up, avoiding heading into stationary traffic at speed and having the break hard. And at all costs, avoid road rage.
Stay alert, stay safe and have a great Easter.
General Information and Advice
Written by Graham Aylard-Poxon. Graham is an Advanced Motorists and a National Observer for the Kent Group of Advanced Motorists. Note that the Kent Group of Advanced Motorists or the IAM does not necessarily endorse the services or products as described in this post.