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Leave plenty of time for travel this weekend - it could be the busiest on record

Transport | Published:

Holidaymakers and day-trippers are being advised to leave plenty of time for their journeys over the bank holiday weekend, with experts warning it could be the busiest on record.

An estimated 16.5 million leisure journeys are forecast over the break as people look to make the most of the last great getaway of the year.

Warm dry weather, with cloud and sunny intervals if forecast for the break, with temperatures expected to hit the 80s tomorrow.

A report by the RAC and traffic data company Inrix predicted that today and tomorrow would be the busiest times on the roads, with a total of 9.4 million trips taking place.

Bank Holiday Monday would be the next busiest with 3.7 million journeys planned.

The RAC says the south-bound M6, heading towards Stafford will be one of the worst affected, with delays of up to an hour forecast between junctions 27 and 13 on Monday. Similar delays are forecast on the north-bound carriageway of the motorway between junctions 18 and 24, as well on on the M25 anticlockwise between junctions 1 and 4.

The M6 southbound, between junctions 5 and 4a in south Birmingham, will also be short of delays.

Melanie Clarke of Highways England said: "We're doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible and that's why we're keeping 97 per cent of the road network we manage free from roadworks.

Disruption is also expected on the rail network as maintenance work is carried out. Buses will replace trains on all West Midlands Railway services between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley on Sunday morning, although normal service is expected to resume after midday.

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Cross Country and Virgin Trains services between Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Macclesfield will also be replaced with a bus service on Sunday. Virgin Trains will also be operating a reduced service through the West Midlands over the three days.

The RAC recommends the worst time to travel today is between 11am and 6.30pm, and the best time after 9pm.

It recommends avoiding the 10.30am to 2pm slot tomorrow, between 12.30pm and 2pm on Sunday, and between 12pm and 2.30pm on Monday.

Best time to travel tomorrow will be after 4pm, and either before 10.30am or after 6.30pm on Sunday, and before 11am or after 6pm on Monday.

Tomorrow is set to be the warmest day of the holiday, reaching 27C (80F), with the warm spell continuing on Sunday, with a maximum temperature of 26C (78F), and on Monday when it will be 24C (76F).

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