The big bank holiday getaway was beginning today, with thousands of motorists expected to hit the roads ahead of the long weekend.
The Highways Agency has announced it is lifting roadworks on 98 per cent of the country’s busiest routes in a bid to keep traffic flowing.
Around 328 miles of roadworks were being completed ahead of the bank holiday weekend, while a further 151 miles will be suspended from today until Tuesday, to open up extra lanes for holiday traffic.
But roadworks taking place to open up the hard shoulder of the M6 between junctions 5 for Castle Bromwich and junction 8 for Great Barr will be among those carrying on over the weekend.
Bosses say 50 mph speed limits and temporary barriers will have to remain in place on the 19 mile stretch because they cannot be lifted for the weekend due to safety reasons.
Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Highways Agency director, said: “Traffic officers and the police will work to clear up any incidents as soon as possible but we advise drivers to check weather and travel conditions before any long journey.”
Traffic experts today said summer traffic is 20 per cent up year on year and has predicted the best and worst times to hit the roads this weekend. In the Midlands, traffic is expected to start building from 2pm onwards and will peak between 4pm and 5pm.
Travel experts INRIX say the best time for people using motorways in the Midlands will be before 11am on Friday or after 6pm. The M6 southbound from junction 10A for Essington to junction 6 for Aston Expressway is expected to be among the top 10 busiest stretches of road in the country. Although showers are expected on Saturday, weather forecasters say Sunday and Monday are expected to be warm and bright.