M1 near Northampton predicted to be among UK's busiest roads during Christmas getaway

The M1 near Northampton is predicted to be one of the busiest roads in the country during the Christmas getaway.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 7:30 am

Delays of up to an hour and a half are expected on the M1 northbound between Flitwick and Daventry at around midday on Sunday (December 22), according to the RAC and Inrix.

While queues of up to 45 minutes could develop on the southbound side between junction 16 for Northampton to junction six for Watford at around 3.45pm on Friday.

On Saturday, be prepared for heavy traffic on the M1 north from J12 Flitwick to J16 Daventry, with 37-minute delays expected at around 2.15pm.

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The M1 near Northampton is expected to see a lot of traffic before Christmas Day. Photo: Getty Images

An estimated 31.2m separate journeys will be taken from Tuesday this week and Christmas Eve, the highest number since the RAC and Inrix's annual survey started in 2013.

Inrix transportation analyst Trevor Reed said: “It does look as though this week is going to see a marked rise in traffic volumes on major roads in the UK, with Thursday expected to see the largest increase in vehicles compared to a normal December day.

"Drivers desperate to get away for Christmas are going to find themselves competing with commuters and shoppers for road space, so we recommend keeping tuned in to the changing traffic conditions on local radio and via in-car apps.”

Highways England has promised around 98 per cent of motorways and A-roads it manages will be free from roadworks to help alleviate traffic.

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: “Our figures suggest many more drivers are planning leisure trips by car in the run-up to this Christmas this year, so bumper-to-bumper traffic on some motorways and major A-roads is going to be near-guaranteed.

“While Christmas Day is still a little way off, it looks as though millions of drivers are planning to complete their getaway trips this week.

"Unfortunately, when you add in the prospect of unsettled weather, with heavy rain and strong winds in some parts, these are likely to be pretty unpleasant drives for many of us."