Express & Star

Christmas traffic warnings for the region as 30 million UK road journeys expected over next two days

There's an amber traffic warning for parts of the region as more people than usual begin their Christmas getaways by road due to disruption on the rail network.

The M6 in the Birmingham area has been highlighted as a possible hotspot for traffic this Friday and Christmas Eve.

The AA is expecting nearly 17 million journeys to be made across the country on Friday with a further sixteen-and-a-half million on Christmas Eve.

The M6 in the Birmingham and Black Country area has been designated one of the possible hotspots for traffic.

The AA traffic warnings map (Image: AA)

Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail will be striking from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27, exacerbating congestion on the roads.

An RAC survey indicated that nearly half of people affected by the rail strikes planned to drive themselves or get a lift from someone else.

Those stoics who still want to travel by train on Christmas Eve are being urged to only travel "if absolutely necessary," as trains across the country will stop running at around 3pm in most locations.

Drivers on the M6 have been labelled as among those most likely to be stuck in long queues.

On top of congestion on the roads and industrial action on the rail network, around 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union who operate passport booths for Border Force will walk out at airports including Birmingham.

These strikes are happening every day from Friday to the end of the year, except December 27.

Military personnel and volunteers from the Civil Service have been trained to check passports, but these contingency workers are expected to do the role less efficiently than the striking Border Force officials, which could result in long queues.

If queues in immigration halls get too long then arriving passengers could be held on planes, preventing subsequent departures from taking off on time.

*Under the AA traffic warning system, amber warnings are issued to prepare drivers for forecasted congestion, while red warnings are issued to alert driver to live incidents.