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Top 10 traffic blackspots revealed

How to avoid the jams this Bank Holiday weekend

Motorway traffic jam

The motorway network will be feeling the strain this Bank Holiday weekend

Planning to get away by car this Bank Holiday? You’re not alone. Millions of Britons will hit the road this weekend – and many will end up sitting in traffic jams. So, where are the most congested traffic hotspots to avoid?

Inrix Traffic Services, which provides traffic data to sat nav manufacturers, says the worst place and time to travel on UK roads is expected to be in Manchester tonight (Friday 27th May) between 17:00 and 18:00. On any usual Friday evening in Manchester, a journey takes around 56% longer than it would if traffic is flowing freely – a figure that is expected to increase still further tonight.

London will be the second most car-clogged city, where an average journey takes 47% longer between 17:00 and 18:00 on a Friday compared to uncongested conditions.

And if you’re driving on the main road and motorway network, these are the top 10 bottlenecks to avoid:

1. Birmingham: M5 

The M5 heading toward Birmingham near the M6 takes the dubious honour of being the most congested stretch of motorway in Britain. Definitely one to avoid this weekend. 

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2. London: Blackwall Tunnel 

Taking the northbound approach to London’s Blackwall Tunnel almost always means making slow progress. Interesting fact: the southbound stretch of the tunnel goes underneath the O2 Arena (née Millenium Dome).

3. London: M25

Never heard of Canterbury Way? Well, if you live in London there’s a good chance you have spent time waiting there; it’s the approach road to the Queen Elizabeth II bridge at Dartford.

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4. Newcastle: A19 

The Tyne Tunnel linking North Shields to South Shields is the only A-road to make our list. The fact that it’s the also only river crossing for several miles makes it an obvious pinch-point. 

Euston Road traffic

Heavy traffic on London’s Euston Road – just outside the Which? office

5. London: M25

A second showing for Canterbury Way – aka the Dartford Crossing – on the M25. This time it’s the anti-clockwise approach to the tunnel, heading upwards from Kent towards Essex.

6. London: M25 

Is there a pattern appearing here? London’s orbital car park, the M25, appears again; the section going anti-clockwise towards Rickmansworth from junction 19 finishes sixth on our list.

7. Glasgow: M8

The point where the Glasgow’s M8 motorway meets the M77 heading toward Kingston Bridge (junction 22) is Scotland’s worst stretch of road. The nearby Rangers football stadium is an oasis of calm by comparison. 

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8. London: M25 

Our fourth and final entry for the M25 is at junction 18 (Chorleywood), travelling anti-clockwise. The close proximity of Heathrow airport can’t help here – and this section has been subject to roadworks recently.

9. Glasgow: M8

Alright M8? No, apparently not. The M8 motorway makes its second appearance here – this time for junction 20 heading northbound. Scotland is renowned for its great driving roads, but this definitely isn’t one of them.

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10. Glasgow: M8 

It’s grim up north, but only if you’re on the M8. A third and final entry in our top 10 means this road from hell almost surpasses London’s M25. The section towards Seaward at junction 21 is our 10th traffic hotspot.


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