Rail strikes to spark road chaos for Christmas getaway

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13th December 2022

Rail strikes could lead to higher than usual traffic in the Christmas getaway, causing lengthy jams at traffic hotspots, including for business drivers still out on the roads.

Almost 17 million cars are expected to travel on 23 December and Christmas Eve alone according to AA research, bringing the potential for bumper-to-bumper traffic. Planned railway worker strikes may add to the getaway mayhem as staff plan to walk out on Christmas Eve.

Couple this with possible engineering works on many lines across the country, and many more drivers may be lured away from public transport and on to the roads.

Business-based travel will remain high this week. The AA’s survey of more than 12,000 drivers found almost a quarter plan to travel for work on Thursday 15 December (25%) and Friday 16 December (24%), after which it drops off until the New Year.

But leisure travel will increase from the end of this week; a fifth (20%) say they are driving to do their Christmas shopping on Saturday 17 December, with one in 10 (12%) opting to use Christmas Eve as their final shopping day.

The main days for celebrating with friends and family this year will be Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Although 25 December will be one of the quietest days on the road, 44% of respondents say they’ll be travelling over these 24 hours.

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